Archive for self-defense

Designing a Safer Woman Project

Designing a Safer Woman

hers projects/runhers releases women’s safety guide

Oklahoma City based runhers, a women’s lifestyle association @hersprojects, is distributing electronic versions of its Designing a Safer Woman (DSW) Prevention Guide free of charge.  The awareness guide for women is the result of identifying a significant need for a more comprehensive, educational, prevention guide that can be used by community groups, law enforcement, and individuals alike.  The guide helps women design their own personal protection plan, based on their individual lifestyle.   

Link to the complete guide may be found at: DSW_Final_V1_Dec_2016

Managing Director of the hers projects Jeffrey Kidder states, “The DSW Project concept began here in OKC after several female runners were attacked.  After a lot of research and conversations around the country with many experts in their respective fields, we concluded that this fills a large gap of knowledge for women.” Kidder continues, “Ultimately, the solution for making girls and women safe is addressing men’s violence. Community leaders, educators, media makers, and the general public need to address this problem because too often, gender violence starts as early as elementary school as sexual harassment and escalates as male perpetrators age.  Ideally, we collectively must focus on designing a less violent man.  However, while we are addressing this issue, we need to help women learn ways to minimize the risk of attack to the extent we can and/or engaging in unhealthy relationships.”  Our project director Jessi Cargill host clinics and educational programs to groups, organizations and individuals. You can connect with Jessi and see her up to date posts on Facebook:

About hers projects/runhers® women’s association
We are a creative force that empowers women to discover, design and activate their version of a healthy and happy life.  We create partnerships and experiences that engage, entertain and inspire women everywhere.   By eliminating boundaries between cultures, organizations, disciplines and artistic expressions, our passionate people will create programs, products, entertainment and life solutions that engage the imagination and drive a new culture of wellness and health for women.

To connect, please visit us at or – twitter @runhers – email




Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips

by Jessi Cargill

Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips

Its that time of year: Shopping, parties, dinners, and traveling to see family & friends. Unfortunately, it also means a lot of opportunity for predators.

So here’s 10 ways you can keep you and your family safe this holiday season:)

1) Walk confidently and with purpose. Observe those around you. Assertive body language can help keep you out of the target pool.

2) Keep your head up. This is NOT the time to be on the phone texting, talking, checking off lists, or updating your status on social media. Distraction makes for easier targets.

3) Be wary of anyone approaching you in parking lots or any area slightly away from the bulk of the crowds.

4) There’s safety in numbers. So whether its shopping, a night out on the town, or traveling, go with a group when possible.

5) Don’t leave valuables (purses, tablets, wallets, gifts,etc) visible in the car while you are shopping. If you have to leave them, hide them before getting to the parking lot.

6) Park in well lit, high traffic areas. Avoid parking near anything that might limit visibility.

7) Carry only the credit cards and ID that you need. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Cards can be replaced, cash cannot. Also, be aware of what you’re wearing. Wearing big, or lots of ‘sparkly” jewelry may draw unwanted attention.

8) Keep doors locked and windows up & locked if you are sitting in your car waiting to pick someone up. (Also, still not a good time to be distracted by your phone. It can wait…go back to #2)

9) Do not post your travel plans on social media.

10) As always – be sure and trust your instincts. If you see or feel anything suspicious, there is a reason to pay attention to those feelings. Don’t be embarrassed to go back inside and ask someone to escort you to your car or to be loud (yell, scream, honk your horn) and draw attention to your situation.

#awareness #befearless #mysafetymyresponsibility #designingasaferwoman 

stalking awareness month

January 29, 2013

National Stalking Awareness Month

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma –

Note:  As January wraps up – we wanted to make this information available to you – with the hope that you will pass this on to others.

President Obama, earlier this month declared January National Stalking Awareness Month in 2013. He stated, “I call upon all Americans to recognize the signs of stalking, acknowledge stalking as a serious crime, and urge those impacted not to be afraid to speak out or ask for help. Let us also resolve to support victims and survivors, and to create communities that are secure and supportive for all Americans.”

January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affects 3.4 million victims a year.  This year’s theme is “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.” We challenge the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it.  More info:

What is stalking?  While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, yet many victims and criminal justice professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact. In one of five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims, and stalking is one of the significant risk factors for femicide (homicide of women) in abusive relationships.  Victims suffer anxiety, social dysfunction, and severe depression at much higher rates than the general population, and many lose time from work or have to move as a result of their victimization.

Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate, and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts, a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause that person fear. Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary, or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts, or visits. One in four victims reports that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices, or hidden cameras, to track the victim’s daily activities.5 Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many stalkers follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making it difficult for authorities to investigate and prosecute their crimes.

Stalking Fact Sheet:

Communities that understand stalking can support victims and combat the crime. 

For additional resources to help promote National Stalking Awareness Month, please visit and

About runhers® women’s association

runhers is a dynamic and creative women’s lifestyle association.  runhers is built on the belief that women must move to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.  We produce lifestyle programs, trainings, creative forums and entertainment via amazing events. If you can imagine a better you, we can help you create it.  To engage more, please visit us at or and via Twitter @runhers – email

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february meeting – safety & self defense forum for women

Safety & Self Defense Forum for Women set for February 13th
“Focus is on what women need to know”

runhers, a women’s health and lifestyle organization headquartered in OKC, announced today it was holding a women’s safety & self-defense forum on Monday, February 13th – beginning at 7:00pm in the Integris Cancer Institute of Oklahoma Conference Center. The event is free and open to the public. With the longer winter days and so many women out running, walking, shopping and carrying on daily duties in the early morning or evening darkness – women are literally at risk. Women need to be prepared, more aware, more alert and know what to do in case the unthinkable presents itself. Please join us for this very important discussion and demonstration by Leslie NesSmith. The national statistics on violence against women are incredibly disturbing. The New York Times last December reported from National Studies that 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted in the US. Many times these assaults are from a relationship gone horribly wrong, and other times they are random or stalking attacks carried out by a stranger who sees a situational vulnerability they can exploit. It’s wrong in any event! runhers Energy Director and Coach Sara McCauley states, “Women’s safety is critically important in all we do here at runhers, we want to take what we know and help educate others in the OKC metro on the importance of understanding the risks and having a plan to respond to it, before it happens.” Sara continues, “Our forum with Leslie will equip women with information that will reduce as many risks as possible by knowing what to do, when.”

About Leslie – Leslie NesSmith has been involved with martial arts and self-defense for a number of years. She competed in the US Open Kung Fu Championships (2000) and won first and second place medals in kata and sparring. Leslie has a personal passion for educating women in self-defense, as she herself became a statistic at the age of 19 when she was the victim of an assault. Fortunately Leslie escaped the attack and began her quest for personal self-defense knowledge.