Sunday, October 21, 2007

Self Defense Class

In the first photo below, the Sherriff's deputy explains personal safety: Students listen to information about keeping themselves safe
Below, the self defense instructor talks about ways to be alert


I participated in Take Back the Night's self-defense class, and it was wonderful! A lot of students turned out to learn about defending themselves. The class started with some helpful hints from a sherriff deputy about how to protect yourself. He gave some really great ideas, which seem common sense once you hear them, but we don't often put into place in our everyday lives!

So tonight, along with my pictures, I'm going to include some basic tips about how to protect yourself from sudden attacks. Although most domestic violence occurs with someone you know, so does rape, and it's always important to protect yourself from unsafe situations. I think the knowledge is something we all can use!
So, in a dangerous situation, what are the tools to help you?

Yelling “NO!” sends a very clear message to the attacker that what they are doing is not okay.
Yelling can frighten or startle the attacker. Most of the time, a rapist is not looking for a fight. They are looking for someone they can subdue easily - when you yell and run, you are telling them you are not that person.

Run away if you can. If someone asks for your wallet, don't hand it to them- throw it away from you. Most of the time they are more interested in the money and this gives you space from the attacker.
If someone at your front door claims to be the police, don't even trust a badge. Call the emergency number and ask if a patrol has been dispatched to your address.
If a strange unmarked van is parked next to yours in the parking lot, and if there is a person in the passenger seat, find the security or police officer nearest to escort you.
At the ATM, get in your car and lock it immediately. Drive away quickly, and count your money somewhere safe.
I thought these tips were great. Even this past weekend, I encountered an uncomfortable situation. I was leaving for Roanoke yesterday morning about 6:45 and went to a familiar and safe gas station to fill up. As I was doing so, a strange car with a man in it pulled up to pump on the other side. As he got out, I quickly let go of the gas pump to hang it up and put the cap back onto my car, then jumped into my car, locked it, and drove off.
I'm really glad I did- as I looked in the rearview mirror, the strange man never even pumped gas, and he actually just got back into his car and left after I did.
Even in a safe part of town in a well-lit and safe gas station, I felt unsafe. Keep an eye out about where you are, who is around you, and make sure you can react quickly and get to a safe place. I'm really glad I followed my gut and got out of there!

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