self defense for women

Burn with Kearns: Empowering College-Bound Daughters: Self-Defense, Safety – Kevin Kearns

by Kevin Kearns, contributing writer, exercise and fitness

As your daughter prepares to embark on her college journey, it’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and concern. With recent reports of violence, especially in New England, ensuring her safety is paramount. Empowering your daughter with self-defense skills, heightened self-awareness, and a strong sense of empowerment can help her navigate this new chapter with confidence and security.

Understanding the Landscape

The increase in campus-related violence is alarming. For example, in recent years, several New England campuses have reported incidents of assault and harassment:

  • Boston, MA: A string of assaults near college campuses prompted increased security measures and self-defense workshops for students​​.
  • Providence, RI: Reports of attempted kidnappings near Brown University have raised awareness about the importance of self-defense and vigilance​​.
  • New Haven, CT: Yale University has seen an uptick in reported incidents, leading to the implementation of more comprehensive safety programs​​.

These incidents underscore the need for proactive measures to ensure the safety and empowerment of college students, particularly young women.

Self-Defense: Equipping Her with Essential Skills

Learning self-defense is not just about physical ability; it’s about building confidence and preparedness. Here are some practical steps to take:

  1. Enroll in Self-Defense Classes: Local community centers, gyms, and colleges often offer self-defense classes tailored for women. Programs like Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and general self-defense courses teach effective techniques to fend off an attacker.
  2. Practice Regularly: Encourage your daughter to practice the skills she learns. Consistent practice helps reinforce techniques and builds muscle memory, making her response more instinctive in an emergency.
  3. Use Technology: Invest in personal safety apps that offer real-time tracking, emergency alerts, and quick access to emergency contacts. Apps like Noonlight and bSafe are highly recommended.

Self-Awareness: Staying Alert and Prepared

Self-awareness is a critical component of personal safety. It involves being mindful of one’s surroundings and recognizing potential threats before they escalate. Here are some tips:

  1. Stay Vigilant: Teach your daughter to stay aware of her surroundings, especially when walking alone at night. Encourage her to avoid distractions like texting or listening to loud music when in unfamiliar areas.
  2. Trust Instincts: If something feels off, it probably is. Teach her to trust her gut feelings and take action if she senses danger, such as moving to a well-lit area, entering a store, or calling for help.
  3. Know the Campus: Familiarity with the campus layout, including the locations of emergency call boxes and safe zones, can be crucial. Many colleges offer orientation programs that include safety tours.

Empowerment: Building Confidence and Independence

Empowerment goes beyond physical and situational awareness. It’s about fostering a mindset of strength and independence:

  1. Join Campus Organizations: Encourage your daughter to join groups focused on women’s empowerment and safety. Organizations like It’s On Us and local women’s centers provide resources and support networks.
  2. Self-Empowerment Workshops: Many colleges offer workshops on assertiveness, confidence building, and boundary setting. These can help her develop a strong sense of self and the ability to assert her rights and needs effectively.
  3. Peer Support Systems: Having a reliable group of friends who look out for each other can significantly enhance personal safety. Encourage her to cultivate strong friendships and to use the buddy system when going out.

Practical Tools and Resources

Equip your daughter with tools and resources to enhance her safety:

  • Personal Alarms: Devices like keychain alarms can emit a loud noise to deter attackers and attract attention.
  • Pepper Spray: If legal in your state, this can be a powerful self-defense tool. Ensure she knows how to use it properly.
  • Safety Apps: As mentioned, safety apps can provide an added layer of security, offering features like live tracking and emergency alerts.
  • Tactical Flashlight : These are a great resource not only for the blinding effect of the light but we use them in our “ BWK Be Your Own Bodyguard” course and classes as an impact weapon

Conclusion As your daughter steps into the world of higher education, her safety is a top priority. By equipping her with self-defense skills, fostering self-awareness, and empowering her through knowledge and resources, you can help her navigate this exciting journey with confidence and security. The key is proactive preparation and open communication about safety and personal well-being. With these tools, she will be better prepared to face the challenges of college life, making the most of her experience while staying safe.


Check Out our upcoming workshops this summer! Coach Kearns

Wednesday, June 26 – Be Your Own BodyGuard ! Learn Real World Self Defense For You Today



Photos: Provided by Kevin Kearns


Read ALL articles by Kevin Kearns – here: BURN WITH KEARNS

Both of Coach Kearns’ books may be purchased on For more information about Coach Kevin Kearns, including scheduling speaking engagements and classes (both online and in person), please contact him at 508-404-8503 or [email protected].Author of “There’s Light In The Tunnel” How to Survive and Thrive with Depression  – “Always Picked Last“ A guide to navigating bullies on Amazon and Audible

Coach Kevin Kearns has been coaching in the world of fitness, nutrition, and tactical self defense for over 3 decades. As the former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pro Fighters, and ranked in the Top 5 in the UFC , he is no stranger to the the importance of proper nutrition and proper mindset programming. He has long advocated to all his clients – athletes or the general population – about the importance of programming mind, body and spirit. Coach Kevin Kearns BS FMS CPT – Former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pros Ranked in Top 5 by the UFC Personal Fitness Coach, Author, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant, Youth Wellness Program Provider, Certification Specialist, Personal Self Defense, and Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Specialist.

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