Success Stories

Boss Boundaries

No, I didn't get to groin-kick anybody, but I did have a success of a different kind. I had my difficult boundary-setting conversation with my boss today. I definitely feel it went well! Before, when I have talked with him about this type of thing, I end up saying things like "You always respond in this hostile way" and "Why do you always take things the wrong way?" and so on. I believe I MAY even have called our workplace a dictatorship once (yikes). It always ends up with even more of a disagreement than when we started. However, I was inspired by our class yesterday to take the conversation in a different direction. I kept focusing on how it made me feel and kept repeating the same words over and over. "When I read that email, I felt sad and disrespected and hurt." It totally worked! He agreed that he had sent that email in anger and said he would try not to do that anymore. I feel much better for having spoken to him instead of just swept it under the rug and pretended all was well. So THANK YOU both so much for the coaching and practice yesterday. It totally helped me! I have no idea if he will stick to my boundary of using more respectful language, but at least I made my feelings clear. – Anonymous


Confronting the Past

During a visit to see my family in California this summer, I confronted one of my rapists at 18. I asked to speak with him, told him how it had affected my life and walked away. I was strong, confident and able to be present in the moment. I couldn't have done this without the class. I want to thank you again. It has changed my life. - Holly


Self-Defense in the Peace Corps

I was on an afternoon walk when I was grabbed from behind. I thought it was a friend messing around. I said, “Come on, let me go.” Then his grip tightened, and I felt his erection. Then it hit me: “I’m being assaulted!”

He grabbed me just like IMPACT instructors do during class. I took a deep breath and thought, “Oh no! He has no idea what he just got himself into!” I released a yell that was so powerful I surprised myself! I struck his groin and broke his grip. I turned to see him already sprinting away.

After this event, I felt strong and proud of myself. Unfortunately, there were other women in my Peace Corps program who were assaulted in a similar fashion, but who had a very different overall experience. They experienced deep, life-altering trauma even though each of them was able to get away and avoid a full-on assault and were not physically hurt.

One woman had to leave the program and return home; another started seeing a therapist; and a third woman, after therapy, still decided to return home. Although they were successful against their assailants –with no training! – they experienced trauma instead of empowerment.

I saw how IMPACT not only prepared me to defend myself, but prepared me to focus on my success – not my vulnerability. Instead of teaching me how powerful the assailant was, this experience taught me how powerful I am.

- Kaytea



Calm and Centered

When I was taking the PREPARE Portland Basics class, I was staying at a place several blocks away from the training.  It was a good 20-minute walk there and back each day and night.  One evening on the way home, after a day of class, I had the occasion to use my training.  It was dark and someone yelled from across the street at me in a threatening manner.  I could not make out what they said, but I felt fear.  To my surprise, I instinctively reverted to the training I had just received, went calm and centered, and heard myself say in a clear, strong, firm voice, "No Thanks."  The person stopped in their tracks and said, "Sorry."  I never felt more empowered in my life.  

-Richard McGill


Safety in the Unexpected 

I was walking out of Walgreen's between 3 and 4 o'clock with a friend of mine the Wednesday after I finished my Basics class. There were plenty of people around.  I suddenly realized that someone was holding me from behind in a headlock and hitting me across the face. It happened so abruptly that it took me a few seconds to realize what was going on. Tears welled up in my eyes as hit slapped me across the face. I must have shouted to scare him because I was able to turn around and give him a heel palm to which he responded in an angry tone, "What the f*** b****!" Looking extraordinarily surprised and appalled that I had hit him, he backed up a few feet as I stood there trembling.  

I was surprised that my reaction was such a reflex; I didn't have to think about it because it was so ingrained in my body. "Don't f****** touch me!" I yelled and remembered what I had learned: "I don't know this man!" "You trying to start something b****?"  "You just came up and started hitting me! Don't get near me!"  He took a few steps towards me, but I held my ground and gave him a look my friend said would have scared a charging mother rhinoceros off. I was in a trance focusing on what I would do next if he got closer. Everything from the class ran through my mind and I pictured how to do each technique. I realized I wasn't scared. I'm not the fighting type at all but I felt confident and ready. 

So there I was with 3 bags of Easter candy, car keys and a purse staring down this psycho in the middle of the street. It appeared as though he considered approaching me again but thought better of it and ran off. I watched him run to the Walgreen's security guy and start yelling at him and figured I was safe.  I took the basics class because I was raped and wanted to feel as though I could protect myself in college this coming year, but I never imagined myself getting attacked on the street. I'm careful about being out alone at night and all that. I learned that it really could happen to anyone anywhere. At 6' tall, I didn't expect to be the target of an attack, but I was. Sometimes walking with confidence isn't enough to protect yourself.  Everyone should take this class because, not only does it make you feel better, it provides the skills if anything were to happen.  - Sierra

Skills from Adolescence Last (from Prepare, Inc. in NYC JAKE: PLEASE HYPERLINK TO

In the 7th grade we took Impact and we learned how to defend ourselves against predators. Last year while walking home from school, these guys approached me and I was really scared. They were making lewd comments and they were coming closer to me. I backed up and told them to leave me alone. I never thought that something like this would ever happen to me. One of the guys grabbed my arm, so I used one of the moves I learned in 7th grade to release his hold on my arm. I then kneed him in the groin and he fell to the ground. I ran away after that but I could hear his friends laughing at him, they didn’t follow me because they knew that I could handle myself and wasn’t helpless.

- Chelsie, 11th grade (Source:


Trick or Treating 

I was walking in my town with my friend and we had just finished trick or treating. My mom was on her way to pick us up and it was only about 9:30. I saw an older man coming down the sidewalk and I didn't think anything of it. My friend was walking in front of me and the minute he passed her he grabbed me around the waist. I screamed "GET OFF" and gave him a knee to the groin. He then let go of me and ran about a block before turning around and looking at us while walking away. I called my mom and she got us about two minutes later because she was already on her way. I never thought that anything like that would have happened to me, especially in an environment that I thought was completely safe. Prepare really helped me out in this situation and I encourage it to be taught in classes at high schools and middle schools all over the country.

- Anonymous (Source: