This started as a blog about training together as a family, in part to inspire other women & families to get involved. As female participation in jiu jitsu has increased, as we have grown as athletes and as we learned that families training together aren’t such an anomaly, the blog has evolved. Jen gets personal with posts on ambition, challenges & achievements in BJJ, CrossFit & with nutrition, while Tom's posts are more educational, informative and analytical in regards to training. On occasion you may hear from the kids.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Domestic Violence Awareness Month.....continued

by Jen

I started training bjj while working for a domestic violence program. The agency promoted a strict "violence free" environment. Occasionally we would receive offers of free self defense classes for clients, but the Agency would hesitate to participate. In no way did they want to give victims a false sense of security or promote the Jennifer Lopez "Enough" mentality where the victim kills the bad guy in the end.

This is understandable - domestic abuse kills. This week alone I have read two local stories about domestic violence related homicides. While I agree that self defense moves can prove valuable and give you confidence, I do not believe they are fool proof in the very violent situations that victims deal with.

No one at my workplace really understood bjj, so I kept my training hidden from all but a few. Those who did know still did not understand it, and thought it was a passing phase.

Almost three years later, I am still here. BJJ is a big part of my life. I am proud to represent as a female practitioner. It excites me to see that the number of female competitors has grown, especially in the younger generation. New blogs are popping up every day, helping us "random few girls" in each gym feel a part of a much bigger movement.

Manto's recent display has proven, though, that we still have our work cut out for us. I was disappointed to see the list of disparaging comments from men and women, on Manto's facebook page. I recommend that these girls visit a timeline of the women's rights movement to gain a better understanding of the battles that were fought, relatively not that long ago, to give them the rights that they have today.

Kudos to Georgette (Georgette's Jiu Jitsu World), Meg (Megjitsu), and Megan (Tangled Triangle) for taking a very active stance against the company's photo shoot through their blogs and facebook pages.

Back to dv, it is sad to me that victim blaming is still alive and well. I agree with the mentality that blaming a domestic violence victim is similar to blaming a rape victim for wearing a skimpy outfit. Bottom line - it is never okay to hurt a woman (or man for that matter).

As stated in my last post, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I urge you to stop and take a moment to do something, no matter how big or small, to honor the month. Review the links I previously posted to learn more about the issue and how to help a victim, volunteer for your local shelter, host a donation drive, let someone that you suspect is a victim know that you care.....just do something. I am running in a 5k on October 29th to support our local domestic violence program. If you like, visit my fundraising page and support my efforts!

Peace all!

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