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  • Writer's pictureTephra Miriam

Doors to Workplace and University Self-Defense and Active Shooter Training Start-Up Opened

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

Founded by Instructional Designer, HR Communications Leader, and accomplished entrepreneur Abigail Baker, RECON NIGHT offers virtual training, online modules, and in-person self-defense and active shooter training for workplaces, churches, and universities. Training is based on and encourages the radical adoption of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging to support healthy organizational cultures and public safety.

Mass Shootings are a Global Problem

In 2021, the FBI reported 61 active shooter incidents revealing an upward trend from 2017 to 2021. These numbers showcase an increase of 52.5% from 2020 and a 96.8% increase from 2017. Unfortunately, mass shootings are spreading like a virus, and it's not just here in America. In a per capita comparison to several European countries, the U.S. ranked in 11th place overall. This suggests that within this study, ten of the other analyzed countries saw even more deaths per capita due to mass shootings.

Current Prevention Tactics are not Trauma-Informed

In its National Threat Assessment Center Mass Attacks In Public Spaces report from 2019, The United States Secret Service concluded, "All available data indicates that these acts of violence are rarely spontaneous and are almost always preceded by warning signs, thereby offering opportunities for prevention."

In their Safe School Initiative, The Secret Service states, "Connection through human relationships is a major component, and the more that schools can link problem youth with prevention-minded adults, the more targeted violence will be thwarted." The Safe School Initiative findings suggest that silence is far from golden. In fact, study findings indicate that silence might be downright dangerous.

Although Federal and local law enforcement agencies have authored useful training, resources, and research, implementing recommendations often requires a level of foundational tactical knowledge that most people do not have. The traditional approaches and law enforcement training we see are typically not trauma-informed or designed for the modern learner, which limits their effectiveness.

"Prevention must remain at the forefront of our work to prevent mass shootings." Says Abigail Baker. "This is why I wanted to ensure that RECON NIGHT's proprietary Radical Belonging Framework serves as grounding for all the active shooter training, self-defense training, and tactical thought leadership we do. This framework looks at the primary, secondary, and tertiary threats along with their inhibitors."

Belonging is a Core Part of Safety

The secret service was not the only organization that discovered the power of belonging as a violence prevention method. In its workbook, The Department of Homeland Security states, "Employees typically do not just "snap," but display indicators of potentially violent behavior over time. If these behaviors are recognized, they can often be managed and treated." This workbook also states, "To best prepare your staff for an active shooter situation, create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), and conduct training exercises. Together, the EAP and training exercises will prepare your staff to effectively respond and help minimize loss of life."

We Can Teach Violence Prevention Without Re-Traumatization

Teaching violence prevention without inflicting trauma requires a nuanced approach. "Our programs are both sensitive to the participant's potential trauma threshold while seeking to empower and educate through the power of preparation versus fear." ensures Abigail Baker.

In an article by Butler, Critelli, & Rinfrette titled, Trauma-Informed Care and Mental Health, they suggest, "To be trauma-informed, in any context, is to understand how violence, victimization, and other traumatic experiences may have figured in the lives of the individuals involved and to apply that understanding to the provision of services and the design of systems so that they accommodate the needs and vulnerabilities of trauma survivors."

RECON NIGHT'S trauma-informed teaching tenets include consistent wellness checks, collective tolerance mindfulness, mental health resources, and a commitment to ongoing research. Modules within RECON NIGHT'S training series include Defense Thinking, Identifying Warning Signs, Radical Belonging Theory, and Situational Awareness, amongst many other self-defense topics. RECON NIGHT is also focused on setting the standard in defining a new way of working and shaping modern-day law enforcement and violence prevention.

Abigail Baker stated, "How we treat people in the workplace matters. Businesses have a responsibility in society and should do everything in their power to foster respectful and inclusive professional spaces. It's also time for us to re-imagine policing and military strategy. We'll work to assemble a think tank that consists of law enforcement, military, mental health, self-defense, martial arts, and crisis/trauma experts that can work together to produce industry reports and recommendations that will pioneer a new era of violence prevention on a global scale."


Based on in-depth trauma-informed research, RECON NIGHT's programs teach individuals critical methods to unleash fear through the art of preparation and appropriate aggression training. RECON NIGHT's training modules range from sixty-minute in-person or virtual sessions to full days and are carefully designed to help employees and educators take back control and encourage radical belonging as a violence reduction methodology. By utilizing research-driven trauma-informed pedagogy practices, RECON NIGHT encourages violence prevention without traumatization.

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