LGBTQ Self-Defense

There are over 1,400 reported instances of hate crimes based on sexual orientation in the US each year.

LGBT students are four times more likely to attempt suicide than non-LGBT students. 

The incidence of homelessness among LGBT youth in NYC is devastating: over 40% identify as LGBT.  Living and working on the streets, homeless youth face even greater risk of violence. 

Each year, thousands of gay and lesbian New Yorkers become victims of violent crime. Sometimes we are assaulted by total strangers; more often, we are attacked by people we may know, including family members or lovers. Many survivors of violence are reluctant to seek help from social service agencies, the police or the criminal justice system because they anticipate a hostile response to their sexual orientation or a lack of sensitivity to their specific needs. Others may simply be unaware of the services available to help them through the trauma of victimization.

From the beginning, CAE has had deep roots in the LGBTQ community.  In the 1980s, CAE was the first organization to provide self-defense programs for transpeople.  Also at that time, in partnership with the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP), CAE was the first organization to provide violence prevention and self-defense training for people living with HIV/AIDS.

CAE’s LGBTQ self-defense and violence prevention course focuses on concerns specific to the LGBTQ communities: verbal abuse, violence from people we know and love, violence from strangers, and bias crimes. Participants will learn effective ways to respond to physical and non-physical harassment to increase their sense of safety and will discuss ways to get support as individuals and as a community.

What will I learn in this course?

The curriculum focuses on violence prevention. Students of all skill and ability levels will learn basic self-defense information including strikes, blocks and kicks; ways to get out of different grabs and holds, verbal exercises, roleplays & discussions about dealing with attackers who are strangers, acquaintances or intimates.

More information: 

CAE’s LGBTQ Self-Defense courses are free, and free childcare is provided.

Check out our upcoming classes! Also check out some recent press on our workshops!

All classes are taught by instructors who have been trained through our organization. There are usually two to three instructors per class and approximately 20-25 students per class.

Please contact us for more information.