Attack inspires women to action
"Fight the Fear Campaign: The Quest for Confidence Through Strength, Inspired by the Life of Teresa Butz" will offer free self-defense classes to women.
Seattle Times staff reporter
When they heard about the brutal attack in South Park, six women — the owners of two Central District self-defense studios, a neighborhood organizer, a nightclub owner, a police officer and a Maple Valley songwriter — knew they wanted to help, but weren't sure how.
Through friends and acquaintances, the six met with the woman who survived the attack and learned about her partner, Teresa Butz, the 39-year-old who died. The six women set about putting their expertise to work in an effort to honor Butz and her partner and to help women across the city feel safe again.
Their project, "Fight the Fear Campaign: The Quest for Confidence Through Strength, Inspired by the Life of Teresa Butz," was developed as a "community-oriented violence-prevention initiative," said Seattle police Detective Kim Bogucki.
Bogucki, who works as a community-liaison officer for the department, said that after the attack she heard fear and worry from women throughout the city. "I don't think it was a sexual-orientation-based crime; it was a gender-based crime," Bogucki said. "People didn't feel safe in their houses; walking down the street after dark."
Melinda Johnson, owner of Seattle Kajukenbo, a self-defense studio, said 35 free classes in self-defense will be offered in 2010 as part of the program. Many of the classes are being designed for women, from seniors to teens. A few of the sessions will be open to men, Johnson said.
"It's not just learning to fight. What's included in the whole self-defense scenario is living in a way that helps you be aware of safety issues, being aware of danger without being fearful," said Johnson, who is planning the classes with Michelle McVadon, owner of Seven Star Women's Kung Fu.
The project is being funded by the Seattle Neighborhood Group, the Seattle Police Foundation, Maple Valley musician Brandi Carlile and Georgia-based musician duo, the Indigo Girls.
The project will be officially launched Jan. 10 with a party at the Century Ballroom on Capitol Hill. The event will feature self-defense classes, workshops and a performance by Carlile.
The first event will be primarily by invitation only, but a handful of tickets will be available for sale. For more information, check the Fight the Fear Campaign Web site at fightthefearcampaign.org,which is expected to launch in the next few days.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
"Iron Man 3" kicks off a summer blockbuster season that will see hundreds of speeding, squealing, exploding, airborne, rolling and smoking vehicles in...
Post a comment