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  • Writer's pictureKarina Sorensen

Giving Back Monthly: January

Each month, KS Smudges donates 10% of its profits to a different organization. January's organization is Warrior Sisters, offering anti-oppressive, accessible self-defense training prioritizing women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ community members.

TW: statistics about anti-transgender violence


January is National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month, started by the American Women's Self Defense Association (AWSDA). This awareness month is to encourage education and awareness about keeping yourself safe. Unfortunately, self-defense is especially important for women as more than half of women (54.3%) in the U.S. reported some form of sexual violence at some point in their lifetime, 41% reported domestic violence, and 1 in 3 women reported being a victim of stalking (2023 U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence).

Not only are women at a greater risk of violence, but specifically BIPOC* transgender women. In 2023, 90% of trans and gender non-conforming* victims were people of color, nearly 70% were transgender women, and more than 60% were Black transgender women. Among those with a known killer, almost half (45.5%) were killed by a friend, family member, or an intimate partner. (The Epidemic of Violence Against the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community in the United States: The 2023 Report)

In researching several self-defense and violence protection organizations to choose as January's fundraiser, I wanted to be sure the one I chose actively included trans BIPOC women in their work. Warrior Sisters "provides and promotes empowerment-based self-defense training, offering accessible, empowerment-based, trauma-informed self-defense for individuals and organizations."

  • They provide free self-defense training "in a safe environment free from oppression."

  • They are anti-oppressive by "prioritizing our services to BIPOC community members, the LGBTQIA+ community, and women. We actively seek to dismantle systems of oppression and empower those who are further marginalized by racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and other systemic forms of patriarchy and capitalism."

  • Their comprehensive range of tools doesn't only include physical self-defense, but also includes "verbal boundary setting, de-escalation, and nonviolent communication."

  • They actively "reject the victim-blaming idea that anyone deserves to be assaulted or that their actions or inactions make them responsible for an assault."

  • They focus on accessibility, believing that "self-defense training should be useful and accessible to participants regardless of economic status, prior experience, fitness level, body type, ability or disability."

For these reasons amongst many others listed in their principles, Warrior Sisters will receive 10% of profits from all January sales.


*BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, and people of color

*Trans vs gender non-conforming (GNC):

Transgender (often shortened to trans) is an umbrella term for people who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth (

Someone who is GNC means they do not fully conform to the societal expectations around their gender. Being GNC does not necessarily mean someone is trans, though some trans people may consider themselves as GNC (

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