WAVE is a practical and empowering safety and self-defense program offered throughout the Philadelphia region.  We teach safety strategies that participants can use in situations ranging from verbal harassment to physical assault. 

WAVE classes emphasize awareness, trusting your instincts, boundary setting, verbal assertiveness, and easy-to-learn physical techniques. Our classes are participatory, energizing and confidence-building.

Upcoming Workshops

Join us on Saturday, May 19th to learn the basics of empowerment self-defense! All gender identities are welcome. 

Basics of Empowerment Self-Defense
DATE: Saturday, May 19th
TIME: 11 AM - 1 PM
PLACE: WIT Offices (718 Arch Street, Suite 401N)
COST: $5 - 20 sliding scale fee
Pre-registration is required. To pay through a different method or to contact us about scholarship information, email us at wave@helpwomen.org

Register Today

More 2018 classes will be announced in the coming months. Email wave@helpwomen.org or join WIT's mailing list to receive information about new classes!

Empowerment Self-Defense

WAVE is based on the Empowerment Model of Self-­Defense.  We believe that people should have accurate information about gender-­based violence; that perpetrators, not victims, are responsible for violence; that people should decide what is best for them in any given situation, including the decision not to fight back; and that all of us are worth defending and have the right to do so.

Our Participants

Our students are primarily women, girls, transgender and gender non-­conforming individuals.  We strongly encourage people of all genders, skills, abilities, sizes and body types to participate in our classes.

What You Will Learn in a WAVE Class

You will learn a variety of options and techniques for staying safe including:

  • Prevention and awareness strategies to avoid and get away from unsafe situations
  • Assertiveness and verbal communication skills to help set boundaries and speak up for yourself and others
  • Powerful, easy-to-learn physical techniques to defend against assaults

Classes are interactive, participatory, and combine physical activities with interactive discussions, role plays, practice drills and reflection.

Class, Workshops and Fees

We offer programming to both individuals and groups.  In addition to our regularly scheduled classes open to the public, we offer safety and self-defense programs to corporations, schools, nonprofits and private groups.  These classes are customized to meet each organization’s needs.  Cost varies based on the length of the program.


For more information about WAVE, contact us at 215.564.5301 x 113 or wave@helpwomen.org.

  Seniors at Center in the Park pose for a picture after a WAVE workshop. 

Seniors at Center in the Park pose for a picture after a WAVE workshop.