Milwaukee

Program helps women process their trauma through exercise – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-12-03 07:00:11 –

Researchers at Marquette University and Cardinal Stritch University are seeking a movement with women affected by mass imprisonment. From left: Heather Hlavka, Jennifer Ohlendorf, Madeline Wright, Noelle Brigden, Amber Tucker. (Photo courtesy of Noelle Brigden)

She found martial arts when Amber Tucker was looking for an exit to deal with her trauma.

Tucker, an assistant professor of sociology at Cardinal Stritch University, first applied for an exercise class in hopes of finding stress relief. She is a single mother and has dealt with the impact of the criminal justice system on her loved ones.

In learning martial arts, especially Jiu-Jitsu, Tucker found a psychological exit of stress and a community of others who helped her learn more about herself. She adopted a new lifestyle that included practices such as meditation and yoga.

“There’s this hashtag #MartialArtsSavedMyLife that martial arts people use to talk about how they changed their lives,” Tucker said. “We refocused on their lives and how it helped them deal with and deal with trauma. It really sympathized with me.”

Now she wants to do the same for other women.

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The Restorative Justice Movement is a pilot program held at the Exercise Space on Turner Hall, 1034 Bell R. Phillips Avenue, aimed at helping women find ways to reconnect with their bodies through exercise. increase. It’s not just a way to be physically healthy: it’s a way to help them recover from trauma.

Program funded by Marquette University Women’s Leadership Institute When President’s Challenge for Racial Justice and FairnessWe are looking for colored women, especially those affected by mass imprisonment. This could mean that they imprisoned themselves or were influenced by someone else’s time in the system.

Noelle Brigden, an associate professor of political science at Marquette University and one of the program’s leading researchers, said the program is open to those affected by deportation and migrant detention.

Over the course of a few weeks, women will try rock climbing, martial arts, and powerlifting to find different ways to express themselves in their bodies.

Emilio de Torre, executive director of Milwaukee Turners, said women in the program are also entitled to free membership to use the facility. Milwaukee Turners operates a gym space in Turner Hall, including a rock climbing gym.

“Because it’s a materialized empowerment program, there are few languages ​​to explain what we want to do,” says Bridden. “People will say fitness or mental health, but we have a much more ambitious goal of empowerment.”

Brigden said one of the most influential parts of the program has been to see women discover the relationship between strength and mind. In activities such as rock climbing, jiu-jitsu and powerlifting, techniques dominate the ability to do so.

“In fact, discovering that your mind is part of your strength and that it is connected to your body is a powerful moment for me to see and hear,” Brigden said. Said. “It’s exciting because it redefines strength and guides us to see it for ourselves.”

Tucker said that women are less capable of performing certain tasks because they are socially conditioned to think that their bodies are naturally weak. This program hopes to help them better understand their bodies and abilities, especially in sports that may not traditionally be considered female.

“One of the biggest things I’ve impressed women with is the idea that your body is good enough,” Tucker said.

In addition to providing exposure to new forms of exercise, the group also wants to foster an environment in which women of all shapes and types feel comfortable. Jennifer Ohlendorf, an assistant professor of nursing at Marquette, said that if a woman does not feel accepted in these spaces, it can be an obstacle for her.

It is important to have a space where others can understand the effects of trauma. Heather Flavka, an assistant professor of socio-cultural science at Marquette University, said women could lose their connection to their bodies because they were taught “how to think, feel, and heal.”

“What really cuts off trauma and violence is the connection between you and your body,” Flabka said.

The serious consequences of imprisonment also pose a challenge. Balancing financial burden, parole hearings, paperwork, and family support can be very difficult. Ohlendorf calls these obstacles “time stealers” and prevents women from spending their time on their own.

This makes it an important goal to help women find time to devote themselves to themselves, Ohlendorf said.

“The way people get involved in these systems is a time stealer in a way that people who didn’t have to get involved in the system can never understand,” Ohlendorf said. “So the idea that you will have time to do something to take care of yourself is completely unreasonable.”


For more information

Please contact us by email to access the program RJMprogram@gmail.com Or call 414-416-9207.



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