Make self-defense mandatory to be taught in Ohio high schools

Make self-defense mandatory to be taught in Ohio high schools

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Petition to
Ohio State House and

Why this petition matters

Started by Sydney Shultz

The purpose of this petition is to incorporate empowerment self-defense training into curriculum standards for Ohio high school students. The state of Ohio requires every high school student to earn a half credit of health for graduation. This leads to the health curriculum being a viable option to add this requirement to. Empowerment Self Defense is a key violence prevention strategy which is known to reduce risk of later sexual assault by 50% (Hollander and Cunningham). This supplemental unit in health classes would build student confidence and provide students with the tools necessary to protect themselves against a potential assault or kidnap.

Sexual assault and rape statistics in the United States:

  • In our nation, someone is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds (
  • Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault (
  • 1 in 5 American females have experienced a form of rape during their lifetime (1 in 3 between 11 and 17 years old) (
  • 1 in 38 American males have experienced a form of rape in their lifetime (

High School Student Survey Findings: 

  • 57% of female students stated fears related to kidnapping, sexual assault, and/or rape 
    • 25% mentioned fears of kidnapping or human trafficking
    • 20% mentioned fears of rape or sexual assault
    • 13% mentioned fears of walking alone or being stalked/ followed
  • ⅓ of female students believe a self-defense course would empower their personal safety
    • 82% have never taken a self-defense course
  • 73% of students said their concern for personal safety has increased as they aged

The survey findings from our school support national findings and can be generalized to most Ohio schools. If every female took the survey, it can be predicted that the numbers would be significantly higher.

Sign this petition to stand behind the push for change in high school curriculum to provide students with the necessary tools to protect themselves against potential assault. 

Thank you!

Sydney, Vaidehi, and Abby

1,397 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!