Denise Shipley

Domestic Violence Survivor

Internationally Ranked 3rd Degree Black Belt, Master Teacher

Founder & CEO of  Standing Through The Rain Foundation, Inc.



I was born daughter to Phil and Leona Riddle in Abilene, Texas at the Dyess Air Force Base hospital where my father was stationed at the time.  After leaving the Air Force, the family settled in Wyoming where I went to schools in various towns as my father had gone to college and then obtained a job with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.  His job required moving to different warden stations.


In 1971 my sister Cynthia Lynn Riddle was born and it was and still is great to have a sister!


In 1979 my father was appointed supervisor for the department in Green River, Wyoming so the family moved there and I graduated from the Tongue River High School in 1980.


By 1984 I moved to Billings, MT and in 1987 enrolled in classes at Rocky Mountain College where I graduated with a Paralegal Certificate in 1990.


While in Billings I worked for JC Penny, for about eight years selling jewelry, and managed a construction office.  I worked for an attorney after I received my paralegal certificate but, ended up selling life insurance and moved to Reno, NV transferring with that company in 1993.


After meeting my soon to be husband in 1994 I moved to Fallon, NV and mainly substitute taught for the Churchill County School District and worked my own business, Dream Scenes,  doing interior decorating.  Art and decorating is a fun passion for me.


My husband at that time was a diagnosed manic depressive.  I had no idea what that was when I met him. He was charming in the beginning and was able to hide his illness for a while. He had a three month old daughter when I met him and had recently lost his wife, the babys mother was killed in a car accident when the baby was just a month old. It wasn't until after I moved into the home and he had me where he wanted that the abuse set in. I was very attached to the baby and was afraid what would happen if I left her alone with him. The dysfunction of his family was bad and I couldn't depend on them.


As the years passed, we tried different doctors and I realized the illness he had was not going to get better.  The abuse I was going through was not going to stop.  The drug and alcohol problem he had was not going away either.  After going through many harrowing experiences of physical and mental abuse, I realized I had to get out of the home. I had adopted his young daughter and the fits of rage she was witnessing could only teach her that such behavior was acceptable and if it continued, I knew my life would be in constant danger or worse, I would be dead. His behavior was becoming more and more volatile as time passed and after nine years of physical and mental abuse, I found the courage to leave him. It was 2002.


In 2003 I started taking classes at the Koshinkan Martial Arts School in Fallon, NV because my soon to be X-Husband was violating the restraining order I had placed on him. I realized I needed to do something more to protect myself.


My divorce was final in June of 2003 and by 2005, three years after I had left my abuser, I was married to my now wonderful husband of 12 years!  Professor John Shipley, who is the Master Teacher and Sensei of the Koshinkan Martial Arts School and internationally ranked 7th degree Black Belt with the Bushidokan Federation.  He is my knight in shining armor!


After much persistence and dedication, in 2009 I received my 1rst degree Black Belt.


I started teaching the youth class at our school, as well as, assisting in the adult classes and I started offering a Women's Assault Prevention class in Fallon.  It has been very well received and the women have been very thankful for the class.


By the year 2010 I had earned my 2nd degree Black Belt and in June of 2014 I achieved the rank of 3rd degree Black Belt, Master Teacher. 


In the year 2011, I established Standing Through The Rain Foundation, Inc. a tax exempt organization aimed at teaching women and girls effective assault prevention as well as incorporating other programs to increase self-esteem and an overall healthy lifestyle in hopes to increase their odds of survival.


I feel this will be a very successful mission!  I know this will benefit many women and girls because I know the thoughts, fears and obstacles these women go through in these types of situations and I know what it takes to get out and be victorious!  I can teach a street effective, combat style of jujitsu to help women and girls get away from attacks and increase their odds of survival.  I know if I can help just one person survive, Standing Through The Rain Foundation, Inc. will be worth all of the time and investment.


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