Posted by Sharon Schendel on Apr 09, 2018
Anne Milhalkanin (center, left of the sign) with volunteers at the San Diego Women's Resource Fair
At a recent workshop for special needs youth held at the Jacobs Center, Anne gives instructions on techniques to stand up to potential threats
While serving as a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) crisis counselor, Anne Milhalkanin, speaker at our April 5, 2018 meeting, found herself in her car, pissed off. She had just counseled another sexual assault victim and was wishing she could do more. Thus, Pissed off Chicks (PoC) was born and in 2015 PoC was recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization. For over 20 years, Anne has been helping women find their voice and stand up for themselves to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault. PoC seeks to improve the lives of individuals whose lives have been affected by violence and to help others avoid becoming victims. Anne has expertise in a variety of self-defense techniques, including Krav Maga, and she partners with her husband Mike, to give self-defense workshops around San Diego County.  In addition to these workshops, PoC collects monetary donations as well as household and personal items that are part of baskets given to help homeless and displaced individuals get back on track. These baskets include blankets, scarves, socks, toiletries, and make-up. Last July and September PoC also hosted Summer and Fall “Escapes” for young women who at risk for gang violence and human trafficking. During these special weekends, these young women gathered at a beach house in Oceanside, which served as home base and a place to gather after trips to the zoo, Belmont Park, the spa, and the beach. For many of these young women, it was their first visit to these places. 
I first met Anne in January 2016 when I started Fitness Challenges held at MMA Academy, which she co-owns with her husband Mike. Anne inspires me to work harder, because I know that she has seen first-hand what can happen when women fail to assert themselves in threatening situations.  Click here for a glimpse of what these classes are like (and that’s me on the right- on the left is Gianna, one of the bad-ass women in these classes).    
If you’re a woman interested in learning basic self-defense techniques, register for PoC’s 18th annual self-defense seminar/fundraiser to be held April 14 from 1-4 PM at MMA Academy Training Center in Sorrento Valley. Members of San Diego Police Department will also be attending to discuss sexual assault statistics in San Diego county.  All revenue from registration fees will be donated to support PoC activities.