Jul 29, 2014
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'Empower the Girls We Love' in West Hartford

Personal Safety Training program teaches life skills to girls and women to prevent them from becoming victims.

'Empower the Girls We Love' in West Hartford

Ellen van Olden is passionate about keeping young women from becoming victims of sexual assault and other crimes.

The president and founder of SAM Training, LLC, van Olden offers training programs, based on the Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB®) program, to teach young women the life skills they need to avoid becoming victims.

"There is nothing more important than preparing our teens for the next step in life but also preparing them with the skills they can actually use. This is one of the best gifts a parent can give their child – confidence and courage! Training will empower your loved ones, give them options they never had before and teach them how to be their own protector," van Olden said.

"Personal safety is not just about protecting yourself when you get into trouble, but how to recognize and avoid a situation before it gets out of hand.  Reduce your risk of becoming a victim!" states the description of the training program on SAM's website.

Van Olden cites the following alarming statistics:

  • Young women, ages 16-24, experience the highest rates of relationship violence.
  • Every 2 minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted.
  • Stalking is particularly prevalent on college campuses; in fact, more than half of all stalking victims are between 18-29 years old and 13 percent of college women have been stalked.
  • Simple assault accounted for about two-thirds of college student violent crimes (63 percent), while rape/sexual assault accounted for about 6 percent.
  • 1 in 4 women in college today has been the victim of rape, and nearly 90 percent of them knew their rapist.

The two-and-a-half hour program is designed to "build confidence, raise awareness and provide practical skills to protect personal safety." It teaches participants to be proactive about their personal safety, as well as to evaluate threats and learn to "manage fear and anxiety during stressful situations."

The Empower the Girls We Love: Personal Safety Training 101 program is being offered in West Hartford this month, and is designed especially for high school students and young women heading to college in the fall – although women of all ages, including moms, can attend.

The classes are being offered on Tuesday, June 12, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (registration at 6 p.m.) and Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. registraton). Classes will contain a minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 participants, and snacks and water will be provided.

Classes will be held at the University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, Gengras Student Union, Room 333, West Hartford, CT. The fee is $55 for all Connecticut students (discounted from $115).

To Register or for additional information go to http://www.samprograms.com/schedule_cal.php or call 954-255-6300.

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