First in series of citywide trainings to teach New Yorkers violence prevention strategies to stay safe

New York, NY – Today, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn joined concerned residents and LGBT New Yorkers for a free, community-wide self-defense class at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center.

The class, led by instructors for the Center for Anti-Violence Education, empowered nearly 100 participants with violence prevention strategies and safety tips. Today’s class was the first in a series of trainings that will be held across the City in the coming weeks, and was forceful reminder of what is possible when people come together as a community with shared concerns and goals.

“The recent string of attacks against the LGBT community is unacceptable, and we must do everything in our power to stop these senseless crimes.” said Speaker Christine Quinn. “New Yorkers pride themselves on being the most diverse City in the entire world. As a community we must come together and send the clear message that we will not stand for any further attacks against LGBT individuals. Today’s self-defense class will serve to empower New Yorkers as they learn safety tips and different strategies to prevent violence in their neighborhood.”

Speaker Quinn and the City Council LGBT Caucus organized the classes following a sharp rise in hate crimes this year. Additional trainings in Staten Island the Bronx will be announced in the coming weeks. Three classes in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan have already been scheduled:

• Wednesday, June 12
7:00 PM
Hudson Guild Elliot Center
441 West 26th Street

• Sunday, June 23
1:30 PM
Renaissance Charter School
35-59 81st Street

• Wednesday, June 26
6:00 PM
Brooklyn Borough Hall

Participants can reserve space by calling (212) 788-5613 or by e-mailing

“I appreciate the Center for Anti-Violence Education and Speaker Quinn for making self-defense classes available to the public,” said Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick. “It is always important for individuals to feel confident in their ability to protect themselves. This is all the more true considering the increase in violence we have witnessed against the LGBT community. ”

“No New Yorker should be afraid to walk alone on our streets. These classes are a way of providing practical skills that can restore confidence to our community during this trying period,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I’m grateful to Speaker Quinn, the City Council, the Center for Anti-Violence Education, and the LGBT Community Center for organizing these free trainings.”

“The recent spate of anti-LGBT hate crimes is worrisome and appalling,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “As we take all necessary steps to heal and prevent further attacks, I support these important efforts to empower and strengthen individuals and communities against future violence.”

“The LGBTQ community has suffered from bigotry and hate crimes for too long, yet we are resilient, and we are made even stronger by the ties that hold us together,” said Tracy Hobson, Executive Director of the Center for Anti-Violence Education. “The Center for Anti-Violence Education stands ready to help the community build skills to challenge, prevent and heal from violence in all its forms.”

The number of reported hate crimes against LGBT New Yorkers has doubled since 2012. Today’s self-defense class is part of a five-point action plan announced by Speaker Quinn last month to combat bias attacks and promote diversity and respect in New York City.

“The recent rash of hate violence against the LGBT community has motivated people to want to protect themselves and take care of each other,” said Glennda Testone, Executive Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. “We’re proud to work with the Center for Anti-Violence Education on the kick-off self-defense class at the LGBT Center to help our community feel strong and empowered.”