THRIVE Empowerment Center will celebrate the opening of its new permanent space at 226 West Pike Street in Covington with a groundbreaking ceremony on May 1. Starting Monday, May 3, the Center will host a variety of anti-violence and assault resistance education courses. Therapeutic programs, designed to foster resilience and promote healing for trauma survivors, will also be offered.
“Our primary goals are to help women, children and other vulnerable populations access their strengths to prevent, interrupt or heal violence and participate in positive cultural change in the Greater Cincinnati area,” said Lauren Bailey, a resident of Fort Mitchell. and one of the two co-founders and instructors of the THRIVE Empowerment Center.
Solve a problem; Following a passion
As black belt martial artists, Lindsey Ross, who grew up in Florence and is now a resident of Blue Ash, Ohio, and Lauren Bailey were often asked by other women where they could find a local self-defense class. for themselves or their children. . Until the advent of the THRIVE Empowerment Center in 2020, women in the Greater Cincinnati area interested in self-defense had to wait for a martial arts dojo or police department to host one – no self-defense classes. was not regularly offered. Where a course was available, the program focused largely on “foreign danger” rather than the fact that 80% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone known to the victim. Typical self-defense classes also did not address the trauma students may have already endured. These events were also offered so infrequently that students did not have the opportunity to practice the skills they had learned.
Women who have been assaulted or abused are often afraid to seek help, convinced that they cannot defend themselves, or disconnected from their own bodies and their emotions, but – as explained in the Dr. Judith Herman in her seminal book Trauma and Recovery (Basic, 2015)) – they need community and personal action to recover and move forward. Those who have not yet experienced violence but are looking for preparation may not be interested in practicing a martial art or may be intimidated by the lessons given by the police.
âOur programs are for everyone,â said Lindsey Ross, âeven if you are not an assault survivor or don’t identify with that label. But it’s important to us that the community knows that no matter what neighborhood they’re from or what their experiences are, THRIVE is a safe, fun and welcoming space made for you.
âThe ladies at Thrive do an incredible job of making a potentially stressful environment comfortable. As a victim advocate for college-aged students, I have seen first-hand what this level of empowerment can do for survivors. By creating a safe space to share and learn, survivors and allies are able to build confidence and strength, âsaid Madesyn DeVivo, University of Miami Campus Advocate for Women Helping Women. “I want all of my clients to be able to take their courses.”
The heart of THRIVE is Empowerment Self-Defense Training (ESD) – an evidence-based program that addresses mental and verbal safety in addition to physical safety. ESD is based on research on the specific types of violent crime faced by women, children and others at risk of gender-based violence.
At the Center, weekly classes will include Principles of Empowerment (THRIVE’s Basic ESD Skills Course), as well as targeted offerings such as verbal boundary setting, defense from the ground, therapeutic writing and yoga. Seminars intended for special populations (adolescents, mother / daughter couples, college students) will also be offered monthly starting this fall.
In addition to on-site classes, THRIVE instructors travel to college campuses, high schools, teams, clubs and businesses to deliver personalized empowerment and safety workshops.
THRIVE Empowerment Center