It’s hard to process events like what happened in Las Vegas a few days ago. Words like ‘atrocity’ and ‘travesty’ have lost their power. The religious might use the word ‘aberration.’ But how can aberrations be happening so frequently? It’s enough to make you wonder, is the cosmic balance shifting, jarringly, to the wrong side?


An athlete’s solution is to move, hard and fast, to let the body tell the mind to take a break, until your exhausted self remembers those closest to you and makes you feel thankful, whew, at least it wasn’t us. (To Phoenix readers who may have lost someone, our thoughts are with you.) Parents may struggle with how to maintain their own composure and exude calm while they field some very difficult questions from emotional children. Moms, especially, will be thinking about how to protect their kids in a world like this one.


To those mothers and their daughters or female protegées, who want a specific kind of physical and mental exercise to increase both women’s confidence, awareness, and ability to respond to threats, go to Prevention.Action.Change.’s "Mother/Daughter Self-Defense" at the Maine Girls’ Academy, a class to be held on Tuesdays, October 10 and 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. both nights. The cost is $20 to $40 per person, on an informal sliding scale. The age range for the younger women in each pair is limited to 8th, 9th and 10th-graders.


Prevention.Action.Change. stresses the bonding and fun that will take place in the class, despite the serious nature of the subject matter. Through activities, games, and drills, participants will develop strategies for safety and learn verbal and physical skills designed to increase confidence and attention, in everyday life as well as in possibly dangerous situations. We hope that our readers never experience the unthinkable, but we think learning appropriate ways to react to harassment, bullying, etc, can never be a bad idea. And don’t be worried about the physical maneuvers being to strenuous or difficult. PAC promises that they are accessible to all, and they urge you to wear non-constrictive clothing and bring water and a hearty snack.


Even when all you can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst, this is a good, healthy way to prepare.


"Mother/Daugher Self-Defense | Tuesday, October 10 & 17, 5:30-7 pm | Maine Girls' Academy, 631 Stevens Ave., Portland | $20-40 |

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