Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

T.A.K.E. Defense Training Educates Northwestern Women

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

On October 28, more than 40 students gathered for one of the most important lessons a woman can learn: how to protect herself in the event of an attack. Pi Beta Phi sorority in connection with The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation (T.A.K.E.), organized the event in honor of Ali Kemp, a Pi Phi who was murdered in June 2002. 
Bob and Jill Leiker, trainers for T.A.K.E., gave an excellent presentation filled with essential information that greatly increases any woman’s chance of surviving a violent attack.
The presentation started with Bob giving a speech that covered much of the information that is parroted regularly, but rarely fully absorbed. He talked about the kinds of unconscious vulnerabilities women project, what attackers look for in a victim, and his past interactions with violent criminals.
After his introductory speech, the women in the room paired up to learn self-defense moves. As the moves went from simple and distanced to more involved and physically intense, the mood in the room got sillier. It’s easy to laugh when pretending to knee a sorority sister in the groin, but attendees understood how important the class really was.
“Now I know that if something does happen, I’ll have a plan for how to react,” said Morgan Craig, a junior biology major. Craig, who organized the event, had never attended a self-defense class before. “I know we’ve been having some safety problems on campus, so it seemed like a great idea.”
In between learning different self-defense techniques, the Leikers told stories about women who had saved themselves with the moves or whose lack of a plan during an attack encouraged them to take the class. The Leikers think being prepared is one of the most important factors in walking away unharmed.
“Every woman should have a plan for how to protect herself,” said Jill. “You get into your car and you put on the safety belt. You’re not hoping to get into a wreck, you’re not expecting it, but you still know to do it to protect yourself just in case.”
When you have that plan in place, “you can harness that fear, harness that adrenaline, and harness that super-human strength” so that you can get out of a bad situation safely, she said.
The Leikers’ main point was that every woman should trust her intuition. Society conditions women to be polite, to not offend, and to constantly care about the impressions they make. But the bottom line is this: it’s better to offend a man who gives you a strange feeling and switch train cars or cross the street than it is to have to use these moves.
Craig is hoping to bring a more regular self-defense class to Northwestern’s campus. If that happens, every woman should make it a priority to attend. And if it doesn’t, then every woman should seek out independent self-defense classes. One of the tactics the Leikers taught makes attackers change their minds eight out of ten times, before they even touch their intended victim. With odds like that, this is a class that’s certainly worth taking.

Her Campus Placeholder Avatar
Kylie Gilbert


Kylie Gilbert is a senior Journalism major and French minor at Northwestern University. She joined HC as a freshman as a contributing writer and has been campus correspondent since her sophomore year. When she isn't writing, online shopping, or reading fashion magazines, she loves watching The Mindy Project, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother and everything on Bravo.