Diamondback Defense
No woman should have to fear walking home alone. Diamondback Defense and the women behind it strive to make the University of Maryland campus a safer place by educating students on self-defense techniques to deter assaults.

Project Description

As of 2015, 1 in 5 women will experience sexual assault at some point in their collegiate career. But this statistic can only be approximated, as 90 percent of these assaults go unreported. With an enrollment of nearly 40 thousand students – assuming about half are female – around 4 thousand women at the University of Maryland during their time at school will become part of that national statistic. In 2016, Vice President Joe Biden called the pervasiveness of sex abuse on campuses an epidemic and appealed to citizens to stand up in situations where consent is not or cannot be given. We believe that there are steps that can go before this to stem the tide of assault on our campus. In response to the issue, the University has installed blue light emergency call boxes and offers support from CARE to Stop Violence through the Health Center. The school also requires incoming students to complete a online course on the definition of sexual assault and how to protect against and intervene in such acts. These supports are useful to the community, but more action could be taken to ensure the safety of the student body. Through our Do Good venture, we aim to foster an environment on campus where students feel confident and secure in any situation where they would otherwise feel vulnerable. With the consistent presence of a self defense group on campus, which would offer basic defense classes to students and special seminars for clubs and greek life organizations, we could change the culture on campus and provide a safer environment to all students. Although our venture would start off as primarily a support for women, in the long term we would like to be able to expand to provide more specific resources to men and transgender and gender nonconforming students, of which 21 percent experience sexual assault on campus (RAINN). We prioritize the safety and security of all students on campus and hope that in the future we can meet the needs of all underserved communities when it comes to sexual violence at the University of Maryland.

Team Members

Lydia Methe
Dinali Weeraman
Gesna Aggarwal
Anne Tavera

Social Issue/Cause

Self Defense

Type of Activities

Advocacy/Awareness