• VPEC

The MyPwr App: Putting Violence Prevention Education in Everyone's Hands

“Our goal is that users of the MyPwr App will learn to believe, without question, that they are worth defending, and that they are capable of doing so. We want our users to believe that their emotional and physical well-being matter. We want them to believe that they deserve to live the safest and healthiest lives possible.”

“Our goal is that users of the MyPwr App will learn to believe, without question, that they are worth defending, and that they are capable of doing so. We want our users to believe that their emotional and physical well-being matter. We want them to believe that they deserve to live the safest and healthiest lives possible.”

~ Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman, CEO, MyPwr / VPEC 2021 Speaker


At VPEC 2021, Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman spoke eloquently about how she has spent the majority of her adult life working tirelessly to make empowerment self-defense (ESD) training, one of the most thoroughly researched and proven violence prevention strategies, available to communities worldwide.


She went on to share the story of how when the world was struck by COVID-19, she refused to give up on that goal, even though in-person training was temporarily not an option.


With lockdowns and the pandemic-related rise in cases of domestic violence, Yehudit became even more determined to come up with new and innovative ways to make violence prevention education more accessible.


And she has certainly succeeded.

By creating the MyPwr App, Yehudit and her team have found an innovative and powerful way to translate the El HaLev Violence Prevention Education Center's renowned “Freedom to Choose” course into an app with the power to literally put ESD training into the hands (well, smartphones) of those who want and need it.



Based on decades of research and collective teaching experience, along with the influence of leaders and experts in the field of educational technology including Seymour Papert, the MyPwr App guides users through a journey of twenty-one lessons featuring demonstrations from senior ESD instructors along with real-life scenarios depicted by a team of professional actors.


The MyPwr App is not a tool for personal protection. It is a unique piece of educational technology that encourages and supports users as they take charge of their own safety.


It’s also more than a collection of lectures and demonstrations. Designed with the principles of Constructionism Theory in mind, the lessons encourage users to be active participants in their own learning.


Here are three examples of how:


“The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.” ~ Seymour Papert

“The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.”


~ Seymour Papert


The MyPwr team likes to think of ESD not so much as a class but as a tour of your needs and wants, the strength you already possess, and as they’re fond of saying, your most powerful self.



Screen Shot of the MyPwr App

An ESD instructor’s job (which in the case of the app is your friendly neighborhood lion) is to facilitate the process of helping users connect with the tools that best work for them and to develop their own strategies for guarding their emotional and physical well-being.


Reflection is encouraged, and users are frequently asked questions such as, “What would you do?” or “At which point would you run?”


The magic isn’t in what the app provides. The magic is in what the users find relevant and decide to integrate into their daily lives.


“I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.” ~ Seymour Papert

“I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.”


~ Seymour Papert


The MyPwr App is all about choice. Users have control over how frequently they use the app, whether or not to join support and community circles led by ESD professionals, and which skills to focus on.


The app also gives users the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to record themselves.



All of this decision making helps users become comfortable making choices about what does and not not feel right to them, and the end goal is for users realize that they have the right to choose how they step out into the world and live their lives.


“You can't teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it.” ~ Seymour Papert

“You can't teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it.”


~ Seymour Papert


No course, in any form, can cover everything there is to know about a certain topic. The MyPwr App is simply an introduction into the world of ESD, and the learning doesn’t stop once the twenty-one lessons are completed.


The hope is that users will take all they’ve discovered and with practice, develop the skills they need to navigate this world as safely as humanly possible.


As Yehudit puts it, “Developing those skills starts with THEM!”



The MyPwr Team Doing Community Volunteer Work

The MyPwr App is so much more than a substitute for in person training until we get through the pandemic.


It’s a powerful tool with the ability to hold its own or be used in conjunction with in-person trainings.


We have no doubt that it will continue to evolve and grow along with its community of users.


And best of all, the app will serve as a wonderful example of the role technology can play in providing quality violence prevention education.


Yehudit Sidikman Introducing the MyPwr App at the Beta Launch Party

This week, MyPwr is celebrating the launch of the Beta version of their app. We are so excited to see what happens as people take the first steps of their journey into ESD and their most powerful selves.


Tell us about a piece of educational technology that has allowed you to take charge of your own learning.


We thank MyPwr for being proud sponsors of VPEC.


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