'Walking around with this empowerment, that sort of makes me feel fearless.'
EUGENE, Ore. - Women in Eugene are coming together to build a community against domestic violence, going by the name of the 'Warrior Sisters.'
The self defense group started in 2014, but over the last few years, their training methods have spread to 13 cities. Just last year, they added a free women's training class.
Strength, self defense and verbal skills are what make up the Warrior sisters.
"The physical aspect of martial arts training in our self defense training has such value of giving women skills to escape physically intimidating situation, of getting us into our bodies and feeling our strength," said Rachel Collins, the Director and Trainer of the Warrior Sisters.
Collins is one of the founders of the group, which was started by women working in rape and domestic violence centers.
"Another part of the puzzle of ending violence against women is proactively giving women the skills to interrupt violations," said Collins. "Not only physical violations of their rights, but verbal."
"It works as a self care sort of thing and it also goes into powering my strength," said Sara Cintron, a Warrior Sister. "Walking around with this empowerment, that sort of makes me fearless."
According to the Department of Human Services, more than 12,000 calls were made to Oregon Sexual and Domestic Violence programs in 2016. The Warrior Sisters are here to combat those.
"I feel good that this is touching other women in this community," said Elizabeth Hayes, a trainer with the Warrior Sisters. "I like knowing there are other women walking around with this knowledge."
The Warrior Sisters offer free self-defense training for women on Sunday mornings at Art of War MMA in Eugene.
The Group is having a fundraiser on Wednesday night at the Oakshire Public House on Madison Street in Eugene.