Class Descriptions


 

IMPACT has scholarships available for all classes and we also accept payment through the Massachusetts Victim’s Compensation program

To apply for a scholarship please visit the “Scholarship Opportunities ” page located at the bottom of the Public Classes menu. 

To pay through Victim’s Compensation please email us at: registration@impactboston.org

Class dates and times can be found on our “Online Class Schedule” page and our “In-Person Class Schedule” page in the “Public Classes” menu.

Online Classes:

Healthy Relationships, Consent & Self-Defense for Teens

9 hours, 6 online sessions, open to girls, women, nonbinary & LGBTQ people, ages 16-22

This online class teaches teens a range of skills for staying safe and sane as they navigate dating, relationships, friendships, life changes, and the uncertainty of the pandemic. Designed for our new digital reality, teens will get the opportunity to practice physical and verbal self-defense skills, assertive communication and bystander intervention. They will also engage in critical discussions that help them define what they want out of relationships and how to advocate for themselves. By the end of the course, students will have a clearer vision of how to take control of their lives and take care of themselves during & beyond the pandemic.

Safe & Sane Online Dating

2-hour workshop, open to all genders (most relevant to women who date men), ages 18+

Online dating can be daunting, exhausting, and potentially risky. It can also be empowering, and facilitate connections between people who never would have met IRL. This course will provide tools for staying safe & sane while dating online (during Covid & beyond), assessing potential new partners when you don’t have much information about them, and preserving your sanity while you wade through a dating pool full of men displaying large fish. [This class will be most relevant to women who date men, but all are welcome].

Healing & Wellness for (POC, QTBPIOC, FOC, LGBTQ+; any group desired for a safe space)

Free 1-hour workshop, open to People of Color only, all genders, ages 16+

This class is designed as a safe space for marginalized students to foster and cultivate healing together. Students learn about the effects of adrenaline and practice calming, grounding techniques they can use to support themselves in stressful situations. It teaches practical tools for how to manage long-term stress, while re-claiming control over the adrenalized body.

De-Escalation Training

2-hour workshop, open to all genders, ages 18+

This class teaches skills to manage stress responses, assertive communication to diffuse hostility, and how to use strategic positioning and body language to enhance physical safety in an escalated situation. Instructors demonstrate realistic scenarios and model strategies for maintaining calm and safety. Scenarios can be customized based on the needs of the group. Participants will 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.

Assertiveness & Boundary Setting

Full course: 8 hours, workshops: 1-4 hours, open to all genders, ages 14+

Many people find that the ability to set and maintain boundaries greatly enhances their sense of safety. This all-verbal course teaches students skills for effective communication and negotiation in stressful situations. Practicing these skills in realistic scenarios, students have the opportunity to become comfortable staying calm and articulate while explaining their needs in situations involving strangers, co-workers, acquaintances, friends, family and partners.

Negotiating in Relationships

1.5-2 hour workshop, open to all genders, ages 14+

This workshop offers practical skills to advocate for oneself while respecting the needs of others. This class teaches positive strategies for effective communication and negotiation in personal relationships around boundaries, expectations, intimacy and commitments. Students gain skills to get better at identifying what they are and are not willing to compromise. Through roleplay, instructors demonstrate non-verbal communication and how body language, tone, and control of emotions affect negotiation.

In-Person Classes:

Courses for ages 16 and up:

Women’s Core Program

This is our standard self defense course for women and teen girls ages 16+ that teaches students to resist threats, intimidation and violence perpetrated by strangers and familiar people. In a supportive, trauma-sensitive environment, students learn assertive verbal boundary setting techniques and physical skills to defend against a number of threatening scenarios including front confrontations, attacks from the rear, attempted sexual assault, and ground fighting.

Women of Color Core Program

This 20-hour weekend course is specifically designed for women and teen girls of color ages 16+.  Students develop physical and verbal skills to resist threats, intimidation, violence and acts of discrimination perpetrated by both strangers and familiar people.  In a supportive, trauma-informed environment, students learn assertive boundary setting techniques and physical skills to defend and fight back against various threatening situations including confrontations, verbal assault/harassment, attacks from behind, attempted sexual assaults, and ground fighting.  This class will also address harm reduction strategies in response to state violence. 

All Gender LGBTQ Core Program

This is our standard self defense basics course for people of all genders who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and/or questioning and are above the age of 16. In this course you will learn to resist threats, intimidation, and violence perpetrated by strangers and familiar people. In a supportive, trauma-sensitive environment, students learn assertive verbal boundary setting techniques and physical self-defense skills to defend against a number of threatening scenarios including front confrontations, attacks from the rear, attempted sexual assault, and ground fighting.  Taught by instructors familiar with the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ violence prevention, this course offers scenarios that address the specific ways in which LGBTQ individuals are intimidated and attacked.

Men’s Core Program

This is our standard self defense basics course for Men and teen boys ages 16+ that teaches students to resist threats, intimidation and violence perpetrated by strangers and familiar people. In a trauma sensitive, non-competitive environment, students learn how to deal effectively with the most common ways men are threatened and attacked. The course focuses on conflict de-escalation, self control, situation based safety decision making, and understanding the difference between appropriate and inappropriate violence.

Assertiveness & Boundary Setting

Many people find that the ability to set and maintain boundaries greatly enhances their sense of safety. This course is an 8 hour all-verbal course that teaches students the skills for effective communication and negotiation in stressful situations. Students learn to set boundaries both verbally and with body language. They learn strategies for assessing challenging situations and relationships to determine the boundary that needs to be set. Practicing these skills in realistic scenarios, students have the opportunity to become comfortable staying calm and articulate while explaining their needs in situations involving strangers, co-workers, acquaintances, friends, family and partners.

Bystander Intervention

Many of us are concerned about the violence, harassment, and harm we see being inflicted on other people, but we may lack the skills or confidence to intervene. Our bystander intervention workshops give students the tools to step in when they witness problematic behavior—whether it’s a situation that is volatile and potentially dangerous, or just a situation where some community solidarity is needed. Skills include how to assess risk, how to strategize and intervene on someone else’s behalf, how to defend oneself physically and verbally, and how to manage your own stress response so you can stay in control.

 

Courses for Trauma Survivors:

Introduction to IMPACT for Trauma Survivors

This 4-hour class is designed for survivors of trauma who are interested in taking an
IMPACT class but are not sure which class best suits their needs. This class introduces students to
IMPACT principles and basic techniques, while also helping students to manage their adrenaline
through breathing and body awareness exercises.

Take Your Power

Take Your Power was designed specifically to address the long-term effects of abuse on intimate relationships and sexual health. Take Your Power combines IMPACT’s physical and verbal safety skills with a unique curriculum focused on healthy relationships and negotiation skills, healthy sexuality, and HIV/STD risk reduction. Light refreshments and child care are provided.

 

Courses for Children and Teens:

Kidsafe (ages 7-9)

Children are taught to call attention to threatening situations, distinguish between safe and unsafe adults, and ask a trusted adult for help.

Middle School Safety (ages 10-13)

This course helps students develop the skills to respond to potentially dangerous situations. Students learn to avoid altercations, resist intimidation, assert themselves in the face of peer pressure and escape potential assaults. They are also taught how to report dangerous situations to a safe adult. Scenarios focus on issues relevant to their lives such as bullying, dating situations, and increasing independence.

Young Teen IMPACT (girls, nonbinary & LGBTQ youth ages 13-15)

In this 8-hour course, students will learn self-defense strategies for threatening situations with strangers, as well as how to keep themselves safe around peers and familiar adults who may be unsafe. We will cover physical and verbal skills for many different situations, and the importance of assertiveness and boundary setting to ensure safety and comfort among friends and dating partners. Upon completion of the course, students will know how to use their body to defend themselves, be able to recognize red flags, know how to assertively communicate when they feel uncomfortable, and have a clearer understanding of what they want and deserve from relationships.

 

Teen & Young Adult IMPACT (girls, nonbinary & LGBTQ youth ages 16-22)

In this 12-hour class, teens and young adults learn skills to help navigate increasing independence. Lessons include physical and verbal self-protection skills, strategies to stop attempted sexual assaults, assertive communication, how to safely intervene when a friend is at risk, and tools to recognize unhealthy relationships.

Students practice both verbal and physical skills in realistic scenarios with the guidance and support of the coaching team. The class also includes discussion pieces aimed at helping students think critically about how gender expectations may put them in harm’s way and empowering them to prioritize their safety in a threatening situation.

Teen Boys Class (boys ages 14-18)

In this 8-hour course students, will learn verbal and physical self-defense skills, as well as  skills to de-escalate conflicts, avoid being drawn into fights,  and to speak up and intervene when other people’s safety is at risk.

Advanced Classes:

*Must be a graduate of a Core Program to register

Defense Against Firearms

This updated advanced course teaches strategies for the unarmed person to disarm a potential assailant who is carrying a pistol or rifle. The course combines practical physical skills with a basic overview of how firearms work.

Defense Against Knives & Edged Weapons

This updated advanced course presents students with practical skills for protecting themselves against assailants that are armed with knives or other edged weapons. Strategies for creating physical distance are addressed as well as an overview of the most common crimes committed with edged weapons in our region.

 

 

For more information email us at info@impactboston.org