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The Safety Godmothers
New documentary “Beauty Bites Beast” empowers women’s self-defense and sparks “missing conversations” for preventing violence
Most of us have heard these statistics: the World Health Organization says 1 in 3 women worldwide experience sexual or physical violence, and 1 in every 6 women in America have been victims of sexual assault, including over 22 million women raped over their lifetime.
Why are so many of our sisters, wives, daughters and mothers targets for violence? Could it be because societies teach women and girls – and boys and men – that women are helpless? That they must depend upon males to protect them, rather than defend themselves?
Women and girls have a right to set boundaries – emotionally, verbally, and, if push comes to shove, physically. Teaching them that fact is one missing key to empowering females to stop personal violence, says “Safety Godmother” Ellen Snortland, author of Beauty Bites Beast, the groundbreaking book on women’s self defense that’s now a new documentary.
“We teach women and girls to fight back,” she says.
Her film, “Beauty Bites Beast – Revealing the Missing Conversations about Ending Violence,” aims to spark discussions to help put an end to violence against women and girls, including:
* The Martial Arts Master Myth – Self-defense is often regarded as a complex discipline that requires years of training. But we don’t have to hold a Black Belt to keep ourselves safe. Ellen and her co-producers share easy-to-learn strategies and self-defense moves anyone can use to deter violence.
* An Ounce of Prevention (Beats a Life of Trauma) – Sexual assault and violence leave lifetime scars. Learning self-defense skills is far less costly than trying to heal from violence, and empowers women and girls to take charge of their safety and lives.
* Myths, Memes and the “Chaperone Mentality” – We’ve been sold the fable that women are the “weaker sex” and must depend on men for protection – a delusion that perpetuates violence against women in the U.S. and worldwide, Ellen says.
For instance, the Obama Administration’s It’s On Us campaign cites the startling statistic that more than 20 percent of women are assaulted while in college. The campaign includes public awareness around consensual sex and a pledge “not to be a bystander” to assault, but nothing to train women to protect themselves, Ellen says.
“What we are doing right now is nurturing dependence at a White House level, at a CDC level,” she says. “They are putting their money behind third-party intervention instead of training women and girls how to set boundaries.”
A true Renaissance Woman, Ellen is an author, actor, attorney, radio and TV personality and writing coach. As a self-defense advocate and instructor she’s worked tirelessly for decades teaching women and girls to fight back against violence. She literally wrote the book on the topic (two books, actually.) Her book “Beauty Bites Beast: Awakening the Warrior in Women and Girls,” was featured on Dateline NBC and is considered a classic in the violence prevention field. She also co-authored the 2015 book “The Safety Godmothers,” with Lisa Gaeta, founder and CEO of IMPACT Personal Safety of Southern California, a leading trainer in full-force, adrenaline-based self-defense.
Self-protection is not a gendered trait, but a crucial skill that other species learn early in life through play. Ellen and her co-producers of "Beauty Bites Beast” are passionate about spreading the truth that self-defense is the ultimate manifestation of the phrase: “Think Globally, Act Locally.”
“Females of all species know how to protect themselves and it's a birthright for human females too,” Ellen says. "There's nothing more local than one's own body."
PRESS RELEASE (October 5, 2016): Empowering Documentary Film “Beauty Bites Beast” Schedules Oscar-Qualifying Opening in NYC and Pasadena
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