Cultural Events

Escape Alive, November 4: Female Self-Defense Class To Be Offered

Published: October 07, 2018 at 08:00 am


The Escape Alive Self-Defense program, in partnership with Jane Doe No More, will be offered at Newtown Congregational Church on Sunday, November 4.

The course will run from 1 to 5 pm. Participation is free but limited to fifty women and girls age 15 and up.

Participants will learn awareness and prevention tips, escape strategies, and striking techniques to disable assailants and enable escape. Because space is limited, interested girls and women are encouraged to register as soon as possible at or by calling 203-729-0245.

Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. The vast majority (nine out of ten) are women; 80 percent are under the age of 30, and 44 percent are under the age of 18.

While the #MeToo movement has sharply increased awareness of sexual assault, Jane Doe No More Inc has partnered with the professional team at East Coast Training Systems to train women and girls to deflect and survive a physical attack. Since 2009, more than 4,500 women and girls have participated, making the program the most popular female self-defense program in Connecticut.

Based on experience and research, the class presents a realistic overview of possible dangers and how to escape. The four-hour session combines an interactive presentation with hands-on self-defense training.

There are no prerequisites. All participants interact with instructors on a personal level, working at their own pace to learn skills and techniques that will work for them, regardless of age, strength, size, or prior training.

Newtown Police Officers Felicia Figol, who has 22 years of law enforcement experience, and Maryhelen McCarthy, with 19 years of law enforcement experience, both see the importance of such training.

“We feel that any tools that help empower women and girls to gain awareness in themselves to be strong and confident in their everyday lives is an asset to their own well-being,” stated Ofc McCarthy.

“In a traditional man’s career choice, women police officers all over this country continue to prove that with proper skills and techniques — size, strength, and age are not the only factor,” she added.

Participants must be at least 15 years of age on November 4, 2018. Parents or guardians of girls ages 15-17 may participate with their daughters or sign a waiver at the time of entry.

Participants should be ready for physical training with a partner and one-on-one attention from the Escape Alive Team of instructors, all of whom train on a regular basis.

The class is free to participants thanks to support from Newtown Congregational Church, other Fairfield County UCC congregations, and corporate sponsors.

Additional information about the class is available at and

Specific questions about the November 4 class may be addressed to Newtown Congregational Church at or 203-426-9024.


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