Impact is a personal safety, assertiveness and self-defense training program. It is part of a comprehensive effort to prevent sexual assault, acts of interpersonal violence and boundary violations.
We are an international affiliation of independent chapters. Each Impact chapter has its own organizational structure and programmatic focus. Click here to learn more about other Impact International chapters.
We share these defining characteristics:
TEACHING THROUGH REALISTIC SCENARIOS
IMPACT programs teach through simulations of physical and non-physical boundary violations committed by strangers and people we know. Students are coached by one instructor while another instructor portrays the role of aggressor or assailant.
TEACHING FULL-FORCE PHYSICAL TECHNIQUES
IMPACT chapters teach students to protect themselves by striking vulnerable areas of an assailant’s body as hard as they can. Instructors wear a suit of full-body armor specially designed for this type of training.
TEACHING VERBAL SKILLS AND THE USE OF VOICE
IMPACT chapters emphasize communication strategies such as verbal de-escalation, assertive communication, and boundary-setting skills.
TEACHING SAFETY SKILLS IN A SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT
Our instructors offer a physically safe and emotionally supportive environment, which allows students to increase self-confidence and skills and enhance their sense of personal power.
SENSITIVITY TO TRAUMA
For many who have experienced family violence, sexual assault, or other trauma, the experience of being physically powerful in the face of a simulated assault is a unique healing experience. IMPACT instructors are sensitive to abuse and related issues.
STRATEGIES WITH PEOPLE WE KNOW
IMPACT recognizes that the majority of sexual assaults and other violations are committed by people close to us. IMPACT teaches effective strategies for addressing situations in which the person not respecting our boundaries is a dating partner, family member, or other familiar person.
SELF DEFENSE FOR EVERYONE
IMPACT chapters are committed to the belief that people are powerful and capable of protecting themselves. IMPACT teaches effective self-protection skills that work for people of different ages, sizes, and physical abilities.
COMMITMENT TO WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP
IMPACT is committed to a teaching environment with women in leadership roles.
COLLABORATING TO PREVENT VIOLENCE AND SUPPORT SURVIVORS
IMPACT training is an important part of a comprehensive strategy to create social change, prevent abuse, and support healing. IMPACT organizations are committed to a broad vision of societal response to violence.