About The Damini Project

Teaching at the University of Miami The Damini Project is a joint venture of the ASSERT Empowerment and Self Defense, Jeet Kune Do Athletic Association and Progressive Self Defense Systems, created to provide free self defense  and empowerment workshops, seminars, and courses around the world. The Project has one guiding goal:

To put an end to the current Rape Culture attitudes that result in violence against, sexual assault, and victimization of  women, men, and children throughout the globe.

The Project is dedicated to the memory of Jyoti Singh Pandey, the victim of a brutal gang rape in Delhi, India on December 16th, 2012. The rape resulted in her death, two weeks later, in a Singapore hospital. Because the laws in India require that the victim’s name remain undisclosed unless there is express permission from the victim or the victim’s family in the case of death, the Media reported the crime nicknaming her Damini, which means “lightining” in Hindi. Upon learning of the crime, thousands of members of the community began protesting across the country, demanding justice for Damini and changes in the laws of the country to provide better protections against such crimes.

Unfortunately, Damini’s story is but one of far too many millions that take place around the globe every year. This is the result of a culture that still devalues human rights, views our brothers and sisters as objects to be owned and manipulated, and where personal insecurities are expressed through the victimization of those around us. The Damini Project aims to change that perception through education and self discovery. We believe that, once we find our inner strength, two things happen:

  • We remember that we are worth fighting for; and,
  • By rediscovering our self confidence, we become less likely to abuse those around us.