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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

WomenStrength Program

WomenStrength Logo

Training in Self-Defense Options

Welcome to WomenStrength!  WomenStrength is a program of the Portland Police Bureau.  Since 1979, we have provided free self-defense classes and personal safety workshops to people around the Portland area.  We have taught self-defense skills to approximately 30,000 women and teenage girls, and personal safety workshops to over 100,000 women and men.

WomenStrength has one paid staff member, program director Sara K. Johnson, and about 40 volunteer staff members, who instruct the self-defense classes and fully participate in the creation of curriculum and policy. Many of the volunteer staff are graduates of WomenStrength who had such a good experience with the self-defense class that they decided to volunteer their time to teach it.



Empower women and girls:

Be a volunteer self-defense instructor


WomenStrength and GirlStrength are looking for confident, caring and dedicated women to volunteer their time to teach free holistic self-defense classes to girls and women.

No experience necessary! We encourage women of all ages and backgrounds to apply.



 2013 New Volunteer Instructor Application [PDF]


Application deadlines:


Winter-spring  Training: January 2, 2013 (Training begins February 23, 2013)

Summer -Teacher Training: May 14, 2013 (Training begins: June 17, 2013)

For more information about the training and programs




GirlStrength                                                                    WomenStrength                     

(503) 823-0239                                                                (503) 823-0260





Upcoming Self-Defense Classes

Non-Physical Personal Safety Workshops

Information about Personal Safety

Volunteering for WomenStrength


WomenStrength Classes in Spanish



WomenStrength in the News: 

Send us e-mail!
We welcome your questions and comments.


To register for a class, please choose the class you want to take and register online by going to the following link: Introductory Class