Behind the success of our work is a team of dedicated professionals who share a common objective.
BUILT ON PASSION
The I Am My Bodyguard team is made up of professionals and volunteers who are passionate about making a difference and share a vision to instil every woman and child with the confidence, knowledge and life skills to protect themselves.
A GLOBAL PROBLEM
“We believe that if a child is taught basic life skills in self-awareness, assertiveness and self-protection, that child will greatly reduce their chances of becoming victim to violence and sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse against children is a global problem with visceral, life-long consequences for the victims. It happens in homes, schools and institutions across the globe. We understand that complex factors such as poverty, substance abuse and insufficient enforcement of childrens’ rights can also be factors in the prevalence of sexual abuse in certain countries.
An idea was born: What if we could generate funds through the provision of paid, vital life skills training for the families, schools and institutions of whom could afford it; and subsequently, we could use these funds to deliver free workshops to the most vulnerable of women and children within developing countries?”
Having the experience and know-how to design and run similar workshops, we felt this was a good opportunity to try a different approach to tackling violence and sexual abuse to children around the world.
As a contrast to the many existing survivor-centered approaches, we feel that if we can reach as many children as possible around the world, we can reduce the number of victims. Although statistically more girls fall victim to sexual abuse, boys are targeted too.
Hence, the program I Am My Bodyguard is taught to mixed classes. As most child abusers are men, we hope to educate young boys at the same time to be more empathic to girls and women as they grow into adults.
~ James and Kathrin, Founders of I Am My Bodyguard
A REAL SOLUTION
In order for I Am My Bodyguard to have the necessary impact, we need an ongoing awareness campaign to reach millions. We need your help. The idea has been received warmly by everyone we speak to, but words are not enough. We need as many supporters as possible on board to take it from a good idea to a great solution to prevent and fight violence and sexual abuse against vulnerable women and children around the world.
I grew up in a regular middle class home in Kenya. Thanks to my parents’ upbringing, I developed special interest to help the underprivileged in society. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of awareness when it comes to matters gender-based violence and sexual violence.
Why? Almost every single lady I’ve interacted with, including myself, has been sexually violated in one way or another. Worse still, some feel guilty and ashamed for being victims.
Day after day, women and children face all forms of violence simply because they lack the awareness, tools and skillset to defend and protect themselves. Which led me to one life-changing question – What would it mean to the world if we understood the root cause of violence? If we had the courage to say no? And if we didn’t feel the need to blame ourselves for the ills done to us? What if we could change that narrative? I met James in 2021, and two years later he presented the idea of I am my Bodyguard. It didn’t take much convincing. I knew that this was my chance to actually make a difference in the society and hopefully, reduce the incidences of violence among women and children one person at a time.
I was raised in a single-parent household within a relatively disadvantaged area of a small town in the North East of the UK; a town which possesses some of the highest crime and addiction rates in the country. I was exposed to the repercussions of abuse at an early age. Members of my family suffered abuse during their adolescence and this resulted in various challenges transpiring in adulthood. Rifts subsequently manifested between family dynamics and I experienced a prolonged estrangement from my parents.
I understand that an empowerment of the women and children in my family at an earlier age and a greater support network would have undoubtedly prevented a lot of the suffering they experienced, and a lot of the trauma that was passed down to me and my siblings. I am grateful to be a part of the I Am My Bodyguard mission. I understand that the ripple effects of safeguarding and empowering women and children are far-reaching and meaningful beyond measure.
I am an experienced environmental journalist and a communication specialist currently working on a freelance role. Born in a society where women and children are abused and even killed for being women and they are victims of masculine violence because of their identity, I felt that the society can no longer ignore this crime of power and it was time to change the narrative.
After listening to stories from the victims, I realized that understanding individual stories is more compelling when linked to patterns of harassment and violence, root causes, contributing factors and other forms of discrimination and abuse in the community. I joined a team of dedicated colleagues who are ready to give women and children a space in society withh I Am My Bodyguard, because I understand in tackling these, we can achieve a healthy, sustainable future for all.