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Strategic Living's News & Views
December  2009
In this issue
Book Review: Ditch That Jerk
Awearness: Who's Watching Your Back?
Upcoming Classes
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Joanne Factor of Strategic Living Dear ,

It's that time of year again. Amidst the hustle and bustle of celebrating, feasting, gift-giving, and enjoying time with family and friends, there's a little voice loudly whispering that once again we're on a collision course with New Year's Resolutions. Will this be another year of wishful dreaming, or will you make and keep special New Decade resolutions?

Consider enhanced safety as part of your resolution. There are many ways to approach this, and here are two options to help increase the safety overall of King County residents. Your resolution, should you choose to accept it, can be to attend one or both events.  Also forward this to people you know. Contribute to making your county a better place to live.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and safe New Year.

Sincerely, Joanne

Participate in King County's Domestic Violence Lobby Day on Thursday, February 4.   Over three weeks ago Governor Gregoire released her proposed budget for 2010. The good new is that funding for core DV and SA services is intact; the bad news is that there are huge cuts to many critical services that low income people, including many battered women and their children, depend on for their survival.  Come to Domestic Violence Lobby Day in Olympia and share your voice!

Lobby day begins with a briefing at 9:30am with staff from the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, who will give detailed information about this year's DV legislative priorities, pending legislation, talking points, and informational handouts.  They will provide packets tailored for your legislative district and include information about your legislators. WSCADV will provide a free lunch at noon. The afternoon is spent meeting with your legislators. These meetings will likely be in small groups with other DV advocates, survivors and allies who also live in your district.  Most groups wrap up their meetings with legislators between 3-4pm. (If you are unable to attend on February 4, 2010, the STATEWIDE lobby day is February 26, 2010.   Check for more information.)

HOW TO REGISTER: Register on-line at by JANUARY 18, 2010.  You MUST provide your name, legislative district ( you can find it at this site), and email and phone number.

Join the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center for their breakfast fundraiser "Kids Are Our Business" on Tuesday, February 23rd.

You'll gather with others who share your goal of ending sexual assault, hear from some amazing survivors and celebrate the strides that have been made over the last 30 years.

No matter how many years I teach safety skills to women and girls of all ages, I am constantly saddened and dismayed by the number of young people who are lured into high-risk situations, most often by someone they know and trust. I've left this event even more mindful that safety skills need to be learned by children as well as their parents, and that we all need to support children in telling about what's happened to them. KSARC has been working with sexual assault survivors for decades, and their contribution to our community is truly invaluable.  Their website has many downloadable flyers and brochures with great information for anyone wanting to know more about sexual assault, bullying/harassment, and risk reduction.

If you have any questions please contact Alix Compton at KCSARC at 206.841.2804 or

Book Review:  Ditch That Jerk: Dealing with Men Who Control and Hurt Women, by Pamela Jayne

This book was recommended by a student.  She had left her abusive husband about a year earlier, and since then has been reading everything she could get her hands on about domestic violence.  Not only does she strongly recommend this book, she's bought multiple copies and given them to friends who she thinks need to read it.

Really, everybody should read this book. Consider this: over 25% of all women have been, are, or will be involved with an abusive partner sometime in their lives.  Even if that person is not you, it was, is, or will be someone you know.  I often ask students if they've know anyone who's experienced abuse. Most of the time most students raise their hands. Sometimes only half the class raises their hands.  Sometimes everyone raises their hands. Even in classes for teen girls, most of them already have a friend who's experienced dating violence.

Pamela Jayne clearly depicts what abuse is, and how it is distinguished from other normal human behaviors that may be immature, petty, selfish, stubborn, or disagreeable. She points out the early warning signs, or "red flags," of abuse. She goes into great detail, with lots of real examples, of the various ploys and manipulations used by abusive men to justify, deny, or blame someone else for what they've done. And she is clear that in order for an abuser to change, they need to take full responsibility for their behavior and really want to change.

Jayne divides the world of abusive men into three camps: the potentially good, the bad, and the hopeless. While they do have a lot in common, there are several important differences that predict whether or not any given abuser may change his abusive ways. This is an important part of the book, since so many women stay with their abuser because they believe they can change him, or if only they were better girlfriends or wives he wouldn't be abusive, or even that it's their obligation to stay and not abandon him. Jayne is clear that change is very hard, the abuser has to be willing to put in a lot of work and face some very unpleasant facets of his approach to life, and that not many will change. All the willpower and good intentions and love of the wife or girlfriend won't make someone else change.

The potentially good man (who is less likely to use physical violence and usually does not have an alcohol/drug problem) may change if he realizes the emotional costs of his behavior and its impact on people he cares about, and takes responsibility for his own actions. However, those men who seem to constantly swim in chaos, who have trouble holding a job, who have substance abuse issues, and who believe they are life's victims are unlikely to change.  And those who totally lack empathy, who use violence freely, chronically lie whenever it's in his interest, and is routinely manipulative, are deemed hopeless. (Other authors, such as Martha Stout, have labeled those who fit this "hopeless" category as sociopaths.)

Ditch That Jerk is well written and easily comprehended. It is a fairly short book, and can be read thoroughly in a weekend (or several weeknights). It's very suitable for young women, including those in their late teens, who may be less certain what abuse is or what their rights in a relationship are. I highly recommend this book, whether you believe you need it or not.

Joanne Factor of Strategic Living
Ditch That Jerk : Dealing With Men Who Control and Hurt Women
by Pamela Jayne M.A.
Hunter House Publishers
List Price: $16.95

Who's Watching Your Back?

Proclaim your awearness with these new shirts. Comes in both unisex and ladies styles.  Unisex shirt comes in rich Carolina Blue 100% cotton Gildan Ultra Cotton Activewear, while ladies T is a vibrant Aquamarine 100% cotton Hanes shirt, with V neck and tapered cut.

Front of shirt:  Strategic Living logo (see top of this enews)
Back of shirt:  "Who's Watching Your Back" below Watching Eyes

        Strategic Living T shirt      

Unisex shirt is regularly $15, but through this enewsletter is only $11.99 (plus shipping and tax). 
Buy Now

Joanne Factor of Strategic Living

Ladies shirt is regularly $18, but through this enewsletter only $14.99 (plus shipping and tax).
Buy Now

Sizes available are S, M, L, XL (and 2XL for Unisex only).  When ordering please indicate size in "Note to Merchant" field.
'Tis the Season . . .

This still has nothing to do with self-defense, and it's still cold and flu season.  I regularly use this infusion to relieve nasal congestion.  The version of the first recipe in November's newsletter had an error, and it is corrected below (in red).

Here is my substitute for Sudafed:  Chop a handful of jalapeno peppers, a head of garlic, and a thumb of ginger.  Put in a bowl that can hold about 3 cups and pour boiling water to the rim.  Cover and let it come to room temperature.  Strain.  Compost the solids, reserving the liquid.  Every morning and every evening put 2 tablespoons of your liquid in a glass.  Add juice of 1/2 lime.  Fill the rest of the glass with water.  Drink.  Do this for about a week.  Helps alleviate stuffiness and congestion.

Tea is always welcome this time of year, and here's my mixture.  Find a store that sells dried herbs in bulk, and get some peppermint, licorice root, lemon grass, nettles, burdock root and dandelion root.  Mix together and keep in a sealed container.  Prepare like any other herbal tea.    You'll have to play with the proportions to taste, and you'll know when you get it, the flavors are both delightfully contrasting and complimentary.  Make this in small batches, as the best flavor relies on the freshness of dried herbs.

Joanne Factor and BOB, Strategic Living
Classes for Winter 2010:

Self-Defense 101:  A four week course that builds progressive skill and prepares you for life's unexpected and unwanted moments.

Four Tuesday evenings, Feb 2 - 23, 6:45 - 8:45 pm, through the UW Women's Center.  Register online at, or phone 206-685-1090.

Four Saturday afternoons, Feb 27 - March 20, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus (10700 Northup Way).  Register online at

NEW:  Four Thursday afternoons, March 4 - 25, 1:00 - 3:00 pm, at 1426 S Jackson Street (studio of the Feminist Karate Union).  Register online at

Weekend Workshop:  Offered through the ASUW Experimental College, the winter quarter class will be offered Feb 19-21.  Visit for more information and registration.  Note: this class is often co-ed.

Self-Defense Basics for Women:  Offered through the ASUW Experimental College, this short seminar will focus on skills most essential for college women (although the class is open to anybody).  Wednesday March 3 on the UW campus.  Registration will open soon, visit for more info.

Self-Defense One-Day Seminars:  If you have only a few hours to spare, spend it here. OK, practice time is limited, but you'll learn the most important lesson: that you have choices. In a single session you'll learn about real risks, assailant tricks, crucial targets and how to create an impact, and releases from the most common grabs. Register at

Next offered:

Sunday Jan 31, noon - 5:00 pm
Sunday Feb 28, noon - 5:00 pm
Saturday April 3, 1:00 - 6:00 pm

KidSafe:  Age-Appropriate Safety Skills for Children:

North Kirkland Community Center:  Next class at this location is January 30.  Phone 425-828-1234 to register.
Self defense class - striking practice
Self-defense skills are like CPR, you should review and practice them annually. 

Register for my Refresher Program at  And if you believe that these skills are crucial for all women, please take advantage of my Referral Program at

Do you work with a non-profit or community organization that holds silent auctions?  Ask me to donate a gift certificate for a private 1.5 hour seminar.

Do you work with a non-profit or community organizations whose staff/volunteers/members/clients would benefit from a safety skills seminar?  Visit for information on requesting partly subsidized training sessions.
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Contact Information
phone: 206.202.0748

You can look me up on LinkedIn, or follow my tweets on Twitter.

Or become a Facebook Fan on Strategic Living's Page.
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