Empowerment Self Defense and Personal Safety for Women*

This interactive introductory and fun – yes, fun! – workshop will focus on women’s personal safety, risk reduction, assault prevention and empowerment self-defense for women. Five areas of prevention will be covered including accurate information, awareness, assertive verbal responses, immediate resistance and effective physical techniques as a last resort to disable and escape from an attacker. Physical techniques may be adapted if needed. One need not be an athlete or martial artist to learn to defend against various forms of sexual abuse and assault.


Cheryl Cesta, M.Ed.

For nearly forty years Cheryl has owned and operated a private business called Cheryl’s Trainings actively teaching empowerment self-defense, prevention and intervention in the field of personal safety regarding sexual abuse and assault. She offers classes to women, children, teens, elderly, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+, survivors, caregivers/dependents, international students, and other vulnerable populations. She is certified as an empowerment self-defense teacher by the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation. She completed professional development training with CPI, Crisis Prevention Institute, to enhance the Disruptive Behavior and De-escalation Management Training she provides to mental and behavioral health providers on a monthly basis. Cheryl has earned a sixth level Black Belt in Bando, a Burmese Martial Art. She teaches Bando basics and several types of healing Yoga.


Cheryl holds a Master’s Degree in Community/Clinical Counseling from Ohio University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the Ohio State University. She retired as a full-time faculty member in the Public Safety Department at Hocking College. In 2000 she joined the faculty of the School of Public Safety in the Social Services, Corrections and Criminal Justice program teaching courses related to: social services, mental health, victim awareness, sexual offenders, chemical abuse and dependency, case management, special needs clients and family dynamics. From 1995 to 2000 she was a mental health counselor in the Department of Student Affairs providing personal, academic and crisis counseling to students, staff and faculty. Previous to working at Hocking College she was employed by Tri-County Mental Health and Counseling (Hopewell Health Center) as a Rape Prevention Program Director (ODH grant) and Sexual Assault Survivor Advocacy Program Director (VOCA, SVAA grants). After completing her master’s degree, she provided outpatient and home-based counseling for high-risk children and their families.


*Session description and bio provided by the presenter.