Clearly, today’s kids need exposure to SD, but the principles and content can vary greatly. For example, my program is not a youth related, anti-bullying focus, per se, meaning surviving the school yard. And I realize the abusive parent or authority figure is a relevant focus as well.
We do thoroughly address avoidance and prevention, rape, college-age behavior, and of course, street violence and it’s survival. We have as many men train as women.
Survival in the moment of chaos, when there’s no opportunity for escape, means injuring the predator. Those injuries can be lethal by happenstance or intent. Therefore, it follows that training for violence necessitates a preferred level of maturity, based on life experience and just plain old brain development. (Sorry, gents, we don’t catch up with the ladies until age 25 – 30.) Having said that, there are more than few “mature adults” I have encountered who were not ready for the principles!
As instructors, we would “celebrate” the day that a student survived violence because of training. But we would be sickened if the police or school administrator were to call because a student tore out the bully’s eye, when alternatives (escape or de-escalation) were possible.
For now we will continue to train/encourage high school seniors. (Most are working on their senior projects.) But in addition, we will train younger teens on a case by case basis, beginning with a free 1.5 hour orientation. Either party can decide to pass – no hard feelings. For those that continue, I am recommending several months training. Forty hours is a reasonable target – then reevaluate.
Your thoughts. Be safe. DocHo