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  • VPEC

The Unstoppable Women of ESD Global Europe

Why will the second Violence Prevention Education Conference take place in Europe?

Well, there are so many reasons.

Here’s one:

In 2016, the European Parliment published a study called, “Knowledge and Know-how: the Role of Self-defence in the Prevention of Violence Against Women.”

Here are some of the recommendations based on the findings:

“Support European dialogue and networking among women’s self-defence practitioners and organisations, to share and exchange information including new research and evaluation, adaptions in content and pedagogy, funding opportunities, project cooperation. Such a network could provide and develop expertise and knowledge about the sector - activities could include a mapping/directory of women’s self-defence in the EU, work on Europe wide quality standards/certification system, development of a basic, adaptable training-for-trainers curriculum based on the agreed standards, promotion of women’s self-defence training within the broader violence against women, education and crime prevention sectors.”

We're so impressed by the work being done in Europe, especially the efforts of the newly formed, unstoppable ESD Global Europe team. Their invaluable projects are right in line with the recommendations provided by the study.

On this International Women's Day, we are so excited to introduce you to the team members, and to highlight their life-changing work.

~ Antonella Cariello, Regional Program Officer

The Need for Violence Prevention Education in Pandemic Times:

“I want to contribute to making Empowerment Self Defense [ESD] training accessible to all who want and need it… Through ESD we can offer tools to demand respect and safety.

ESD empowers human beings to set healthy boundaries, thus contributing to ending violence.

This is particularly needed in Europe during this harsh time: Violence against women has risen a lot during Covid pandemic all over Europe."

~ Nina Wennink, Regional Program Officer

ESD is Healing:

“Hi, my name is Nina and I am a self-defense instructor and program officer for ESD Global_Europe.

Learning to defend ourselves is healing, because… I

t changes the way we perceive ourselves and our strengths.

For me, the beauty of Empowerment Self Defense is that it brings out such a powerful side of people, that we often don’t think we have. It’s like finding your personal pot of gold.”

~ Gentiana Susaj, Regional Manager

Working Towards a Just and Equal World:

“I was raised by three strong women… My mother, my aunt, and my grandmother. These strong women educated me to be an empathetic, good listener with the ability to see the potential in others.

And for me, that has been the backbone of my journey in every step of every project...

Connecting people and creating spaces that generate change for a just and equal world is an invaluable opportunity that Empowerment Self Defense [ESD] gives to me.”


We’re having a great time working with this team to plan for VPEC 2021.

October is right around the corner. There will be so much happening between now and then.

Stay with us. This is just the beginning!

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