Strategic Living's News & Views

Spring/Summer 2012

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Joanne Factor of Strategic LivingDear ,  


It's not just another four-letter word. Hope is the stuff your dreams are made of. Hope is looking forward, a key ingredient to your vision and your future.

In the years I've taught women's self-defense classes, among the thousands I've instructed on how to make their daily lives safer, none has ever expressed to me the hope that one day they too would be a rape survivor.

Rape may not be the most frequent kind of assault on women, but it has the longest-lasting and most profound impact over one's lifetime. Last month, April, was Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. A good month to think about and plan for ending sexual assault in all its varieties. But sexual assault does not go away after April 30, and neither should our awareness.

What can you do?

Aside from self-defense classes, you have plenty of choices. Some can readily slip into your daily routine, others require effort. You'll find suggestions on my website.

  • Read a book or two about rape, sexual assault, and trauma.
  • Learn about consent -- what it means, what it looks like.
  • Get on the email list of your local sexual assault prevention and resource center.
  • Donate to your local sexual assault prevention and resource center.
  • Volunteer for a rape relief hotline.
  • Get involved with your local Slutwalk (or start your own).
  • Contact your local and national lawmakers about upcoming legislation (if you joined your local center's email list, you will generally be informed of upcoming issues).
  • Write letters to the editor, or comment online, when sexual assault makes it into public discourse.
  • Facebook, tweet, digg, whatever social media you use, the issues and resources.
  • Have conversations with your mom and dad, your sister and brother, your daughter and son, your best friend, your co-workers, your classmates, about what you are leaning about rape and sexual assault.

Don't laugh at rape jokes. Even those told by good guys and gals.

Listen -- without offering judgement or advice -- if someone trusts you with their story.

Rape and other forms of sexual assault do not go away with the end of April showers. Hope plus action turn dreams into positive realities rather than nightmares. Again, what are you going to do? Today? This week? For the rest of the year?

Sincerely, Joanne


"I think it will be a relief to some people, and a disappointment to others, that I'm NOT going to talk about vaginas today." So began Eve Ensler's TED Talk on security. How has our focus on security actually made us less secure? Listen to the author of The Vagina Monologues as she explores what security means, and who is creating real security.

Seeking Super Sheros
Seeking Super Sheros

Seeking Sheros Contest - Deadline Extended

If you could be a supershero, who would you be? What would your special power be? And what would trigger or inspire you to use this power?

A year ago I began asking students if they could have any one super power to keep themselves safe, what would it be? The answers varied from invisibility to super speed to flying (the most popular) to mind-reading to super-strength.

Now I want to hear from you. This is a contest, and first prize is an iPod shuffle. Second and third prizes will be iTunes and Amazon gift certificates. In addition, winning entries will be featured on Strategic Living's website.

Deadline is midnight (Pacific time) May 31st, 2012.

To enter: follow the directions on Strategic Living's Super Shero web page.

Evil-doers need not apply.

The fine print: you agree that, without further compensation or consideration, your submission may be used by Strategic Living, LLC, to promote safety and self-defense classes.

Recipe: Refreshing Rhubarb Soup

While organic rhubarb is now selling for over $3.49 per pound in markets, my garden is overflowing with the stuff. After getting tired of the usual desserts, I've been incorporating it into a variety of savory dishes. My favorite this year is a cold rhubarb-orange soup I've adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe. Easy to make, few ingredients, and fast, it is a perfect prelude for a warm spring/summer evening barbeque.

juice and minced zest from 2 medium oranges
2 lbs rhubarb stalks, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups water
finely minced ginger (about a teaspoon)
1/8 teaspoon crushed cardamon
creme fraiche or thick yogurt

Put rhubarb, sugar, water, OJ, ginger, cardamon, and half the orange zest in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium so it simmers. Cook until rhubarb is falling apart (should be about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and chill soup.

When ready to serve, whisk soup to further break up rhubarb and add the remaining orange zest. Serve in bowls with a dollop of creme fraiche or yogurt on top.


Class Schedule
Spring/Summer 2012:

Self-Defense 101:
 A five (or more) week course that builds progressive skill and prepares you for life's unexpected (and unwanted) moments.  To register for any of these classes, visit for links to each organization and class registration.
NEW: Five Monday evenings, 7:30 - 9:30 pm at Georgetown Arts and Cultural Center, June 4 - July 2.

Five Saturday afternoons, 1:30 - 3:30 pm at Bellevue College, North Campus, June 23 - July 21.

NEW: Five Friday evenings, 7:00 - 9:00 pm in Seattle's International District, July 6 - August 10 (no class July 27). Registration will be through the ASUW's Experimental College.  
Five Monday evenings, 7:00 - 8:50 pm, through Seattle Central Community College.
July 9 - August 6.

Five Tuesday evenings, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, through the UW Women's Center (class location is Bryants Building).  July 31 - August 28.


One-Afternoon Seminars: This short self-defense basic class is offered in Seattle on June 17 and at North Kirkland Community Center on Saturday June 16. More classes will be added for July and August.  


For Teen Girls Only: Offered through Bellevue College on Tuesday July 17, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, North Kirkland Community Center on Saturday August 11, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, and a couple of other summer dates TBD (such as two through the UW Women's Center, one on July 15 and the other on August 12, details on facilities and times still being worked out). Or contact me to arrange a custom session for your group.  Visit the Strategic Living Teen Girl classes site for more info.


 KidSafe: August 4 at North Kirkland Community Center 12:30 - 2:00 pm. Phone 425-587-3336 for more info.   


Weekend Workshop through the UW Experimental College will be held Friday June 1, Sat June 2, and Sun June 3. Visit for more info and links to registration.  


Self-defense skills are like CPR, you should review and practice them annually. 

If you've already taken a class and want to keep it fresh, Strategic Living offers a 50% discount on select classes. And, if you refer your friends to a Strategic Living class and they sign up, I will donate $25 to one of three awesome organizations for women and girls. Visit my Paying It Forward page for details.

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 organization whose staff/volunteers/members/clients would benefit from a safety skills seminar? Visit for information on requesting partly subsidized training sessions. 

Hazelruth A, who works with teen girls in foster care, said this about the session she arranged:

"Strategic Living graciously donated class time to come to last month's event and it was amazing! Joanne did a wonderful job talking about tough issues in a way that was both approachable and fun. The girls had a great time and learned a lot! The donated class allowed the girls we work with to learn self-defense techniques and prevention skills--skills that will help them not only now but into their adult lives. I am incredibly thankful to Strategic Living since without the donated class the girls would not have had this wonderful and empowering opportunity.

"I think it is especially important for young women to have the know-how and the confidence to stand up for themselves in bad situations. The Strategic Living self-defense class helped give the young women in our program the skills and confidence to do just that. "

Contact Information
phone: 206.202.0748

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