Girls Fight Back was born in direct response to the June 2001 murder of a dynamic, athletic, and loved college student named Shannon McNamara. After Shannon’s death, her friend and sorority sister, Erin Weed, realized the need for practical and empowering options for young women in college to learn violence prevention and self-defense. By combining core values, a fun and empowering attitude, and the best safety and self-defense methods available, Girls Fight Back was born.

In 2020, self-defense expert and international speaker Nicole Snell took over as owner and CEO of Girls Fight Back. Our personal safety and self-defense seminars aim to make risk recognition, preventing violence, and fighting back an approachable topic for everyone on college campuses and beyond.

We offer gender inclusive programs that are empowering, evidence-based, trauma-informed and victim centered. We believe that we can simultaneously work to prevent violence through culture change and offer people the skills to manage their safety in the present. No victim blaming! No restrictions on life activities! We focus on providing you with the options to open up your world.

Nicole believes that when we are empowered to live our lives freely and confidently, there is no limit to what we can do!

We serve diverse communities including: college/university, high school, corporate, conferences, non-profits, outdoor groups, retreats, military/DoD, private groups and more!


By popular demand, Girls Fight Back is now offering PUBLIC classes both in Los Angeles, CA and Virtually!

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Watch Nicole’s YT Series Outdoor Defense! She’s been empowering solo adventurers with simple self-defense strategies since 2019. There are 60 episodes available on YouTube.

Subscribe today!


Students Fight Back

Students Fight Back offers the same basic skills in Girls Fight Back, because contrary to what society might tell us, people of all gender identities can benefit when it comes to learning personal safety and self-defense. And, we can all come together to be active bystanders and create safer communities on campus and beyond. This program has a strong emphasis on how we can all partner together to put an end to violence. It is gender inclusive and Title IX compliant. This program is also 75 mins + Q&A.

98.6% of audiences would recommend our programs to their friends!

Fight Back on Spring Break!

Fight Back on Spring Break is a specialized version of Students Fight Back. It is also gender inclusive and puts special attention on how we can be safer and look out for each other more actively on Spring Break or any time we want to be social, have a good time, or travel away from home. This program is also 75 mins + Q&A.


SAVE (Safety, Assertiveness, Violence Prevention, Empowerment), is a gender inclusive, comprehensive, interactive seminar that is designed for companies, businesses, or private groups that want to empower their employees or community with personal safety strategies and discussions on how to set boundaries to address awkward social interactions with colleagues and co-workers. We also address techniques for professionals in industries that require being alone with strangers and clients or who travel regularly. No one should have to choose between their safety and their livelihood. This program includes hands on practice for setting boundaries in a respectful, confident way in addition to working on physical self-defense techniques. The material can be customized to fit your organizations needs and messaging.


  • IBM
  • UCLA
  • Microsoft
  • Denver Broncos
  • HOKA One One
  • Girl Scouts
  • College of St. Scholastica
  • Carthage College
  • Texas Christian University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • University of Redlands 
  • University of Richmond
  • Texas A&M University, Commerce
  • Western Oregon University
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Texas Tech
  • Ohio Wesleyan
  • Keuka College 
  • Davenport University
  • Cal State Dominguez Hills
  • US Air Force
  • Guess? Jeans
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Kentucky
  • Indiana Tech
  • Walla Walla Community College
  • Spokane Falls Community College
  • Cal State Sacramento
  • University of Illinois-Springfield
  • Bradley University
  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Campbell University
  • Lamar State College
  • St. Mary’s University
  • Youngstown University
  • University of Texas Permian Basin
  • American University
  • University of Riverside