About Us

Fight the Fear Campaign is a Washington nonprofit corporation and is tax-exempt organization under Code Secs. 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.   We are in partnership with The WAVE Foundation, also identified as a 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Fight the Fear Campaign (FtFC) is a Seattle, WA-based community-oriented violence-prevention initiative. We are now in partnership with The WAVE Foundation, and we will continue to provide training in relationship violence education, sexual-assault awareness, and self-defense skills including intuition honing, de-escalation, boundary setting, assertive communication, and fighting techniques—as well as access to resources for survivors of violence or abuse.  Our new, joint program is called Discover Your Power.

We are committed to the realization of everyone’s right to accessible, culturally appropriate, and empowering sexual assault awareness, self-defense, and relationship violence prevention training. Our organization creates opportunities that link experienced instructors to students from schools, community organizations, and social service agencies. We partner with schools to provide trainings both during and outside of regular school programing. We are devoted to building impactful relationships that benefit the whole of society through self-defense advocacy, education, and awareness.


The Fight the Fear Campaign was born out of the tragic and brutal 2009 attack of two women in their home in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood.  Though Jennifer Hopper survived, her partner, Teresa Butz, did not. In the wake of this devastating event and inspired by these amazing women, local musician Brandi Carlile created the Fight the Fear Campaign through her Looking Out Foundation.  Since its inception in 2010, FTFC has taught thousands of Western Washington residents free sexual assault awareness and self-defense workshops serving social service agencies, local schools, and other diverse organizations.  As of July, 2016 the Fight the Fear Campaign is in partnership with The WAVE Foundation, and will continue our mission under a joint umbrella.


Melinda Johnson, Executive Director Emeritus and WAVE Foundation Board Member:

Melinda Johnson, Executive Director of the Fight the Fear CampaignMelinda Johnson is the former Executive Director of the Fight the Fear Campaign and a WAVE Foundation board member. She has been teaching the Empowerment Model of Self-Defense for more than 20 years. She is also the founder and Chief Instructor of Seattle Kajukenbo and Kung Fu Kids, where she has taught Kung Fu to men, women, teens, and children since 1996 and holds the rank of 7th degree black belt.


Meggan Atkins, Program Director:

meg bio pic 2Meggan Atkins is Program Director for Discover Your Power, organizing workshops and community events to further its mission.  She has been teaching the Empowerment Model of Self-Defense for six years.  Meggan joined the campaign in 2010 after creating a high school girls’ self-defense program in the Issaquah School District, where she was a middle school teacher for almost twenty years.


We contract with instructors who provide the most up-to-date and useful training, tailoring each workshop to serve the specific, focused needs of different populations. Our instructors are highly capable and bring many years of experience to the empowerment model of self-defense.


“It was such a privilege to have Fight the Fear Campaign come to our sorority chapter! The session was empowering, interactive and inspiring; the instructors are enthusiastic and have made Fight the Fear something every woman and every man should be exposed to!”  –Anjali D’Souza, Delta Gamma UW

“Hearing the Fight the Fear Campaign talk to my fraternity about the seriousness of emotional and physical assault on college campuses and society as a whole was a fantastic perspective for everyone in my house to gain. Their passion and devotion for Fight the Fear shows in their presentation, it was beyond effective. The complex issues and facts they brought shocked many guys in our house, creating thoughtful and relevant discussions.” – Matt Bercow, Alpha Epsilon Pi

“I am a Physical Education teacher here in Seattle, WA.  We recently had the FTFC team out to work with our students for the second session this year and it was outstanding.  Our students were incredibly engaged, and it was clear that each lesson was rehearsed and sequenced with intentionality. We feel lucky to have had this program in our school, and we are very grateful to you and your campaign for sponsoring these lifesaving skills.” —Chuck Millsap, Whitman Middle School


the empowerment model:

The empowerment model of self-defense teaches skills to use against harassment, abuse, and assault; including the power of confidence, awareness, de-escalation, boundary setting, assertive communication, and how to recognize the red flags that often precede an assault.

Five Fingers of Self-Defense

  • THINK: listen to intuition, be alert, practice confidence, recognize the red flag that often precede assault
  • YELL: use your voice to de-escalate a situation or to bring power to your strikes; your voice can also center you, startle your assailant, and draw attention to the situation
  • AVOID: use de-escalation techniques, set clear, firm boundaries, utilize release moves
  • FIGHT: use what’s free, know your targets, make strong weapons, be 100% committed
  • TELL: tell your story, get support and healing: “we are as sick as we are secret”