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Our mission

We strive to create ongoing high quality programming working with individuals who have experienced or are at risk for abuse or acts of violence. 

Our team

AShley Gerger

Founder and Director

I am a survivor.


I have lived through years of violence and abuse and understand how deeply trauma can affect our lives and those around us. Often continuing the cycle - abuse begets more abuse. Through years of fighting through the ups and downs of trauma and healing I find myself at a place now where I thrive.

Thriving is not the abscence of conflict or crisis. It's unrealistic to expect a life completely free of those. There will be ups and downs. However you can learn to ride or flow with the waves of crisis and trauma instead of resisting or succumbing to them. 


I founded Soteria Defense Solutions to share physical and mental skill sets and knowledge with others so they can effectively prevent crisis or abuse. My hope is that anyone with past trauma who takes this course gains the awareness to recognize and end the patterns that can confine them to the traumas shaped by their abusers…Empowering victims with the knowledge, skills, support and the confidence to redefine themselves and their stories as survivors.


You can read a little more of my personal story below. 

elizabeth clarke

Vice President

I am a survivor.


In addition to working through my own experiences with interpersonal violence and trauma, I've spent 18 years working in the not-for-profit world, 11 of which have been in community health. My life's work has been focused on serving our community and supporting programming aimed at raising the health status of Wisconsin's most vulnerable populations. 


As Vice President and Co-Instructor of Soteria, I utilize my expertise to support survivors on their healing journey and bring education and awareness to community members. Working alongside Ashley and other change makers, I hope to live out Soteria's mission to spread knowledge of physical and mental techniques to effectively prevent and mitigate crisis or violent situations.


When not working, I enjoy spending time in nature, researching wellness and healing topics, creative writing, and exploring the world with my kids.

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