Non-contact boxing helps abused women regain their self-respect and power over their lives
Most of us will never experience physical or sexual abuse but too many self-identified women do. They’re physically and emotionally scarred, don’t feel safe and can feel it’s their own fault. They lose their self-respect and feel powerless over their lives.
IWD and it’s a special day when we all have to pause and think about abuse. The statistics are shocking. One women in Canada is killed by an intimate partner approximately every six days. Because most abuse happens in the home it often goes unreported.
Sometimes when people hear about Shape Your Life non-contact boxing they wonder how boxing, a sport that many people see as violent, helps women overcome the horrible effects of abuse. They think women are coming to the gym to learn to box so they can fight off a physical or sexual abuser.
One goal of Shape Your Life non-contact boxing is to break the cycle of abuse by giving women a safe space to find out how strong they really are, feel that their bodies are back under their own control, build confidence and visualize a life without abuse. When they look at the world through boxing gloves they get a sense how strong they really are.
Shape Your Life was founded 11 years ago to fulfill an urgent need to help women recover and heal from abuse. Since then 1,600 self-identified women have taken the non-contact boxing program. Classes include 30 women. With a waiting list of 300, women are waiting as long as 10 months. Recovering from abuse can’t wait.
Partners Dr. Cathy van Ingen, Associate Professor in Kinesiology at Brock University and Joanne Green, Executive Director with Opportunity for Advancement continue to build the program which is run out of a boxing club in Toronto.
Over the course of the program’s life, Shape Your Life has received generous sponsorship from municipal and provincial governments, and most recently from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Shape Your Life also has wonderful individual donors. We need your help more than ever! Your donation can help us build Shape Your Life so women who experience physical and sexual abuse can continue to heal. Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about how you can help.