Be Empowered: How to Fight Back Against Emotional and Physical Abuse

by Leah Oviedo

We are taught skills to continue our education, to start a business, and raise a family, but women especially are not taught how to defend themselves from emotional or physical abuse. Just look at the high incidence of violence against women, teen suicides, domestic violence, rape, and muggings to see how little we are taught about fighting back. As a certified self defense instructor with a background in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault my dream is to share with everyone the skills to be self sufficient. To get the word out, I wrote a book that could be read for free online.

As a former victim of emotional violence, I know firsthand how important it is to learn skills to fight back. I was raised with strong female role models and encouraged to be strong, but never taught skills to do so. This book is intended for women and girls over the age of 13. You can read my book "You Can Fight Back: Emotional and Physical Self Defense" and order soft cover copies through

The book teaches the skills we need to be our own bodyguards by learning how to follow our intuition and be aware of warning signs. There are exercises to practice the healthiest forms of communication, confrontation, and problem solving. For more dangerous situations step by step physical self defense moves are accompanied by illustrations. These are defense moves that I have used to protect my own life.

The main goal of the book however is to encourage women and girls how to solve problems and stay away from violence by taking actions and using words that keep them safe. Just because females are often not as strong as males, we still have the capabilities to fight back and win! Sometimes domestic violence and sexual assault can only be stopped by the assailant, but prevention can be practiced by anyone.  Resources are included for victims of violence because sometimes no matter how prepared we are, we can still be hurt.

One thing I want readers to take away from this book is that nobody should ever feel like they deserve or were asking for violence. Violence is an act that is chosen by the person who commits it and never chosen by the victim. If you have been through violence you can choose to be a survivor by learning as much as you can about your rights and helping others who have been in similar situations. Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect. Don’t put up with anyone who treats you badly.

Leah Oviedo is a self defense instructor, author and artist. Her books include "Fierce: A New Generation of Female Empowerment", "I Am More Than Just a Girl" and "Word Art and Affirmations". Her background includes work in areas of foster care, domestic violence, sexual assault, business management, and art. Individual empowerment is a recurring theme in her work. After working in various fields she realized that she could make a positive difference by teaching prevention and educating people on how to make positive life choices. Learn more at


Leah O. said...

Thank you Deb. I hope your readers find my information helpful. I am teaching a free community self defense class this Sunday. It will be my first class with people I don't know. I am so excited!

Deb Bailey said...

Hi Leah,

You're welcome! Thanks for sharing this important information!


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