Elemental is a sexual assault protection program that offers realistic training for realistic situations. This program:

  • Combines the best of classroom education and self-defense training in a program with proven long-term effectiveness.
  • Offers an organized, cost-effective, and holistic curriculum that is grounded in social science research and is inclusive of a variety of participants, including gender and sexual minorities (GSM).
  • Assists your institution in filling the most recent requirements of the Violence Against Women Act (including the SaVE Act). Elemental is a primary prevention and awareness program that offers face-to-face training and ongoing prevention through self-directed student review.
  • Provides program participants with choices in the way they respond to an assault, each based on the four elements of To-Shin Do. Our name comes from this element-based problem-solving paradigm:
Earth (Confident)
Hold your ground
Water (Surprised)
Step back momentarily, assess, then react
Fire (Connected)
Anticipate the threat and stop it before it grows
Wind (Withdrawn)
Exploit weaknesses within the threat that enable you to leave entirely

Latest News

Elemental Represented at the White House

Posted on May 5th, 2014

Campus sexual assault has been getting a great deal of press coverage recently.  This is, in part, in response to increased federal efforts to combat campus sexual assault – efforts that are related to Title IX legislation, the Cleary Act, the SaVE Act, and the recently-established White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.  The Task Force is currently examining ways to lower rates of assault, exploring options for helping colleges and high schools keep students safe, and highlighting best practices among prevention programs. 

Importantly, not only is Elemental a program that uses best practices, but one of its directors – Mellisa Holtzman – is also among a select group of researchers and program representatives who were recently invited to the White House for a briefing hosted by the Task Force.  It was Mellisa’s distinct pleasure to represent Elemental in Washington, DC in April, 2014.  During the briefing, a number of key individuals, including the Secretaries of the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services as well as Vice President Joe Biden, talked about the “Not Alone” Task Force report, the newly-established compliance website, the current recommendations for universities, and the response and reporting requirements that will be forthcoming.  We are pleased that Elemental can contribute to efforts aimed at keeping college students safe from sexual assault.


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Testimonials

Just wanted to let you know how awesome you are. You are making a huge difference! I think you are the only ones who get it.

M.W., PhD

I also appreciated that we were given the opportunity to try things that we might actually experience in real life with the couches and the beds.

2012 Participant

I really enjoyed your "no pressure" approach and it allowed me to actually try the techniques without feeling uncomfortable.

2013 Participant

The scenarios... all felt very real for me. As a survivor of intimate partner violence, I thought those situations were much more helpful than many of the stranger-rape cases in past self-defense classes I’ve taken.

2012 Participant

I think this is a great seminar and I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially freshmen girls. So often we expect that these assaults would never happen to us, so we find it lame to go and learn defense tactics. But assault is a very real and scary thing, and I now feel much more prepared if ever faced with a situation like this.

2012 Participant

It is an empowering program that really shows people they aren't helpless in situations like this. Granted, you can't be prepared for everything, but I personally feel much more confident in my abilities after taking this program. It was educational; it was hands-on; and it was ultimately a really fun day.

2013 Participant

My daughter is signed up for an upcoming session. I just wanted to say that I think your program is a valuable service to the students!

Parent of a participant

Elemental gives people helpful, but basic communication skills in these situations. I also like that it teaches you that there are steps to take before heading to the more physical ones.

2014 Participant

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you & your team on what a fantastic program Elemental is. I have been through several different types of programs, and I have to say that yours is one of the best I’ve attended.

2013 Assistant Residence Hall Director

My favorite part of the seminar was the video. So many times, I hear about these situations, but never really have any idea what goes on in these scenarios. Although I am not involved in any type of party scene, I do think it is really helpful to see these situations in context so I know how to react in an unexpected situation.

2012 Participant