Madison Clark Starts Self-Defense Club at WHS

The Women’s Self Defense Club is a new club this year started by junior Madison Clark. The club aims to teach girls self defense tools to make them feel more comfortable about potentially uncomfortable or dangerous situations. 

Clark took efforts last year to start this club after hearing countless local news stories about women being assaulted while innocently going through their everyday tasks. She was driven even further by conversations with her friends about feeling uncomfortable around men. These conversations and stories prompted Clark to realize the lack of knowledge of how to deal with potential confrontations and she was ready to take action. 

Clark presents her message at her first meeting in the health room. (Photo/Sophia Brownsword)

“I thought that the school should have a program that girls can participate in to learn about safety and self-defense. I was shocked to see that nothing has been provided, so I started a program myself to help girls defend themselves against predators and to help other women in the community as well,” Clark said.  

Clark jumped to action and continued to have conversations with her friends to spread the word and calculate their interests. She successfully utilized social media, both Snapchat and Instagram, to optimize getting members. Clark says that freshman orientation was an extra boost and they now have 89 members and counting. Clark is planning on forming an executive board within the next few meetings. The club does not have scheduled meetings yet but they plan to meet a couple times a month to plan activities and bring awareness. 

“The purpose of the Women’s Self-Defense and Safety club is to learn physical skills to defend ourselves against predators, identify and leave dangerous situations, and educate others on women’s safety,” said Clark. 

Additionally, she hopes to extend her efforts into the community and give them resources on safety tips and techniques. Clark recognizes that men should also be included in this discussion in order extinguish the stigma of assault and rape being a “women’s issue.” 

To push these efforts, Clark is planning many activities for this year including assemblies at not only the high school, but also at the middle schools. She hopes to volunteer at local women shelters as well as focusing their efforts to help women in Boston. Specifically, Clark is planning to take a self defense course with the police and even host a course for the community in the future. 

“I am really looking forward to a great year, and we are excited to start things off! I really hope that this club can continue on for many decades after I have graduated,” Clark said.