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Strategic Living's News & Views
April 2010
In this issue
Crime or Inconvenience?
After 17 Years, Home Alive Bids Us Adieu
Emotional Coaching Parenting Group for Survivors Seeking Participants
Upcoming Classes

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Joanne Factor of Strategic LivingDear ,

Whether or not you use Facebook, you've likely heard of the recent ferment over their privacy policy.  One source of confusion is their "policy" shifts more often than a BP executive's assessment of the Gulf oil spill damage; another is finding all those little control panels that govern who gets to see all those disparate bits of your information. has developed a tool that scans your Facebook profile and brings up a clickable list of what you can change to increase privacy.  Now that doesn't mean you HAVE to change those settings -- you may want to be found by friends of friends, or everyone, or your city's network (or not, the choice is yours).  You may want to be tagged in any and all photos (or not).  This tool makes choosing your Facebook's settings a lot easier.

Then there's the other option.  Do not include information you do not want public.  When Facebook asked for my date of birth, I put in an "alternative" date which of course is not made visible to anyone, even "friends" (I feel that my birthday is between me, my real-life family and friends, and the IRS).  This is important because even if you elect to keep certain info private, there are Facebook applications that perhaps your friends use that may "leak" some of your info.

[And of course the third option.  Maybe Facebook isn't your cup of tea.  Some of my (real-life) friends have chosen to not join Facebook because of the nature of their work, or because they've decided it is a substantial oversharing of information.]

The internet is not a private space, regardless of "privacy" policies.  Facebook is a free service because of the marketing potential and advertising revenue. Bits of your data will be merged with data from millions of other users to target marketing. "Opt out" rather than "opt in" policies will be a tug-of-war for a while. Before signing up for any social networking site, spend some time contemplating what "privacy" means to you and on a social-commercial site such as Facebook.

A key tenet of self-defense is that YOU choose what information to share with whom. Nobody will simply hand you that right on the internet.  You will increasingly need to take charge of what you provide to others, you will need to define and assert your own boundaries, and to be effective you need to understand today's ever-changing webscape.

Sincerely, Joanne

Crime or Inconvenience, or When is a Choke Not Really a Crime?

A recent incident in New York (involving a political appointee and his wife) brought into the spotlight surprising facts about how strangulation is treated under the law. In New York state, if it does not leave marks or result in significant damage, it is not a felony.  Not even a misdemeanor. That may be about to change, as a movement is afoot to update the law.  You can hear some of this summarized in Susan Bartelstone's June 3rd online radio program Crime Prevention 101.

For those of us in Washington state, we can breathe a bit easier.  Assault by strangulation is indeed a felony, and you can see for yourself at RCW 9A.36.021. This amendment to "assault in the second degree," which added "assault by strangulation" to the list of possible second-degree assaults, was enacted in 2007 to recognize the profound impact it has, psychologically as well as physically, on the victim. The legislature also noted its prevalence in domestic violence as a reason for adding strangulation to the list of felonies.

As a guest on Crime Prevention 101, Susan and I talked about some of the ways you can get out of a chokehold.  A wholly audio medium, radio is not exactly the best for illustrating physical skills.  So I made a quick video (with my camera phone) and posted it at  This is NOT a replacement for a real class, just a smattering of your options should you find yourself on the receiving end of a choke.

Home Alive Bids Us Adieu

Seattle has lost yet another valuable non-profit organization. After 17 years, Home Alive is ending its operations as a source of anti-violence and self-defense training.

They are holding a farewell celebration on Sunday, June 12, at Hidmo (2000 S Jackson St), 7 pm til midnight (all ages til 11 pm).  There will be live music and an open mic, so if you have had the privilege of working with Home Alive you are welcome to come and share your remembrances.

A few instructors will remain available on a limited basis for consultations and workshops. They can be reached at

Emotional Coaching Parenting Group for Survivors Seeking Participants

University of Washington researchers have been working with community agencies to bring a new emotion coaching parenting program to survivors of domestic violence.  UW child psychologist Dr. Lynn Fainsilber Katz has  been conducting research that shows that parents' awareness of their children's emotions and their ability to coach children during emotionally upsetting moments protects children from the negative effects of domestic violence.

Two new groups will be starting in North and South Seattle. These groups are currently open for enrollment and can be referred to the number listed below.  Women are eligible to participate if they have a 6-12 year old child, have been out of the abusive relationship for at least 6 months, and can comfortably speak English.  The program involves 12 weekly group sessions, dinner, child care for all children, and bus tickets for transportation will be provided.  The program also includes assessments before and after the group, and survivors can earn up to $285 for participation in assessments.

Interested participants should call the confidential phone line at 206-616-4061.

Teaching a knee kick at Seattle U, April 2010
Joanne Factor teaching knee kick at Seattle U

Classes for Summer 2010:

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

Here's what Joan P. had to say about her class this Spring quarter:

"I was extremely happy when I found a class that offered the opportunity of learning more than one would expect to learn in a one hour class.  Not only did we learn a variety of important release techniques, we also learned many valuable mental aspects of what to do in possible dangerous situations.  I am sure that there are other "good" Self Defense classes being offered in Washington State;  however, Joanne's class is "Excellent".  She is extremely knowledgeable, she gets straight to the point - doesn't add confusing fluff - she captures your attention with seriousness as well as laughter, and you will definitely finish this class with more self-confidence with the belief "I can do this" instead of being scared and freezing."

Four Wednesday mornings, June 23 - July 14 ,9:30 - 11:30 am , at 1426 S Jackson Street (studio of the Feminist Karate Union).  Register online at Registration in advance is required!

Four Saturday afternoons, July 17 - August 7, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus (10700 Northup Way). Register online at

Four Sunday afternoons, July 18 - August 8, noon - 2:00 pm, at 1426 S Jackson Street (studio of the Feminist Karate Union).  Register online at Registration in advance is required!

Five* Tuesday evenings, July 20 - August 17, 6:45 - 8:45 pm, through the UW Women's Center.  Register online at, or phone 206-685-1090.

*Beginning in Fall 2010, all Self Defense 101 classes will be 5 sessions.  Assertion, confrontation, and de-escalation skills will be added to the curriculum.

New for Fall 2010:  Self Defense 101 will be offered at Seattle Central Community College!  Stay tuned for details.

For Teen Girls Only: Three hours will provide young ladies the education and awareness to avoid and escape potentially dangerous situations. We will cover dating violence, how assailants target and test potential victims, personal safety and much more. Students will learn physical techniques, strikes and releases to safely remove themselves from dangerous situations. It is a great class to take with a friend!  Classes are offered on:
  • Saturday, June 26, 1:00 - 4:00 pm at North Kirkland Community Center.
  • Tuesday, July 6, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, in Seattle. 
  • Tuesday July 27, 1:00 - 4;00 pm, at Bellevue College.
  • Sunday, August 4, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, in Seattle. 
Visit for more info and registration.
Joanne Factor of Strategic Living
KidSafe:  Age-Appropriate Safety Skills for Children ages 5-9.  A single 1 1/2 hour session works with young attention spans. Children will practice the 'five fingers' approach: think, yell, get free, run, and tell. Parents learn tools to continue the conversation, as well as to sort through all the information and misinformation on keeping their children safe. Learn about risks facing your kids, how to frame the discussion with children, and recognizing when someone may be targeting your family.

Next offered:  Sunday, July 11, noon - 1:30 pm in Seattle.  Visit for more information and registration.

Self Defense for Tween Girls Only!  For girls too old for KidSafe but not quite a Teen . . . offered only July 11!  Visit for registration and more info. 

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 Self defense class -  striking practiceauctions? 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. 

Melissa W., a Program Manager for Girl Scouting in the School Day, had this to say:  "Joanne came to my Girl Scout troop and taught girls important physical skills, but more importantly, she told them to love themselves, be aware of their surroundings, and use their minds.  It was a successful approach for any age, and I'm glad to know the girls are more able to keep themselves safe because of Joanne's class."
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.
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phone: 206.202.0748

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