Over 100 women and girls learned self-awareness and self-defense moves at Town Hall on Saturday.

The event was sponsored by Christ Community Church, Darien Police and the Greenwich Center for Hope and Renewal and instruction was provided by Darien Police Officer Leslie Silva. It was held in March in honor of women’s history month.

Silva said she was thrilled “to participate in such an important community event.”


“My years of martial arts and self-defense experience have taught me a lot and I was very excited to share my knowledge with other women,” Silva said.

“I think there’s something inherently more relatable for the participants when they receive this life-saving and eye opening information from a woman’s perspective,” she said.

Christ Community Church Pastor Landon Reesor said the event was incredible and attendees included many “mother and daughter combos.”

“It was really helpful and insightful,” he said.

Reesor said the situational awareness gave women tips on evaluating their own daily routine and the “self-defense portion was absolutely fantastic.”

The goal of the self-defense portion was to help attendees learn how to get away from an assailant, and included the best moves and actions toward that goal, Reesor said.

He said the partnership between nonprofits and civil servants reminded “us how important this is, for our wives, our mothers, our sisters and our daughters.”

Reesor, who said his mother is a real estate agent, and hopes to bring real estate agents into the next event as they can be in a vulnerable position in their job duties.

Reesor said he hopes to do another, even bigger event next March.

State Rep. Terrie Wood, who represents part of Darien and Rowayton, attended the program.

The woman’s self defense and situational awareness program provided critically important information on how to prevent an attack and what to do if attacked,” she said.

“The guidance from Officer Leslie Silva was clear and compelling,” she said.

Silva said she thinks “self-defense is important for women and teens — primarily to gain the skills necessary in order to protect themselves in the event that it’s needed.”

“But this learning process can also help build self-confidence and empower women. Size and strength don’t have to be a disadvantage for the smaller person, women are powerful,” Silva said.

Wood said it was “terrific to see so many young women there, learning what they can do, to be safe.”