Find your courage and use it to make the world around you safer.

At IMPACT we believe everyone has the right to be safe and the ability to protect themselves. Our self-defense programs give people the skills to stay calm and focused in unsafe situations. Our abuse prevention programs give schools, disability service organizations, and communities the tools to develop policies and expectations that keep everyone safe.

IMPACT classes offer supportive spaces for women, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, kids and teens of all genders, women of color, survivors of abuse and trauma, and more. Information about classes that are open to the public can be found in the “Public Classes” tab.

IMPACT offers:
      • Self-defense classes that are open to the public.
      • Customized workshops for schools, disability service organizations, community groups, businesses, human service agencies, and domestic violence and sexual assault survivors that cover topics in:
        • Abuse prevention
        • Self-defense
        • Assertive communication
        • Conflict de-escalation


For many people, the pandemic brought increases in stress, violence, and conflict. IMPACT is  committed to giving essential workers, human service providers, and everyday people the skills to keep themselves and others safe.

When situations become volatile there are tools we can use to maintain calm and safety. The IMPACT De-Escalation Training teaches skills to respond effectively when someone else is angry, threatening or disruptive.  

De-escalation skills include: 

  • Managing your own stress response
  • Strategic positioning and body language to enhance physical safety
  • Assertive communication to diffuse hostility

How the training works: Instructors demonstrate realistic scenarios and model strategies for maintaining calm and safety. Scenarios are based on the unique situations of each training group—we have designed customized programs for libraries, performance venues, emergency shelters, domestic violence programs, retail environments and many others. Participants then have the opportunity to practice their skills with an instructor who plays the role of the person who is escalating. This experiential practice helps participants think on their feet and learn to manage their own stress response and respond effectively in the moment of confrontation. 

IMPACT Initiatives

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“IMPACT had a profound effect on my sense of self. Most significantly, I am reminded that it is safe to be a woman.”

— IMPACT Graduate

“IMPACT has changed my life. It has been over a month since the program ended, but I’ve noticed that I now stand a little taller — less afraid.”

— IMPACT Graduate

“My therapist introduced me to IMPACT back in 1989 and I went through the course back then. Gratefully, I have never been in a situation where I have had to use the physical skills I learned during that time. (Although I still feel like they are within me.) However, the course was as much mental as physical, and I think it gave me my “voice” which I have confidently used over the years. In the last 5 years, I have encouraged both of my young adult daughters to take the class at Impact Boston and they both have come back out of it with a similar feeling of being more confident in setting boundaries for themselves with respect to situations where they may be uncomfortable. As a mom, I feel so much better knowing that my girls have gone through the weekend program and have developed a skill set which will serve them if/when it is needed.”

— IMPACT Graduate

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