Self-defense classes are offered across the nation as a strategy for reducing women's vulnerability to sexual assault. Yet there has been little systematic research assessing the effectiveness of these classes. In this article, I use data from a mixed methods study of a 10-week, university-based, feminist self-defense class to examine the effectiveness of self-defense training over a 1-year follow-up period. My analyses indicate that women who participate in self-defense training are less likely to experience sexual assault and are more confident in their ability to effectively resist assault than similar women who have not taken such a class.
Keywords: prevention; self-defense training; sexual assault.