Oct 24, 2010 9:52 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Empowering women with self-defense classes

A woman putting her child into a car seat has a man demand for her purse.  Another woman returning home early in the morning is confronted by a man with a knife, and he takes off with her car.  Personal robberies.  Home invasions.  Sexual assaults.

These kinds of crimes happen every day in Southern Colorado.  Two women with decades of law enforcement experience say they want to make sure women have the power and the knowledge to fight back.

Teri Goodall and Patty Fowler founded "Fighting Chance for Women" personal safety classes in El Paso County.  The three-hour course covers many levels of safety, from how to avoid becoming a victim to escaping an attack and fighting back.  More than 200 people in Southern Colorado have taken their class, some as young as 12 years old.

"They will feel much better about themselves.  We've had women say it has lifted them up knowing they can defend themselves," remarks Fowler.

The number one thing they say women need to do is be aware of their surroundings.

A few other pieces of advice to avoid becoming a victim:

1. Be aware.  Keep your head up and take notice of people around you.

2. Be prepared (bags are in one hand and your strong hand is holding keys between your fingers, ready to punch).

3. Get to your car and lock the door immediately.

4. If something doesn't look or feel right, go back inside.

5. If attacked, yell over and over again, and fight back with anything.

Goodall and Fowler point out, if the attacker has a weapon, let them have your packages, car, or purse and survive the crime.

The next "Fighting Chance for Women" class is November 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Remington College.  The cost is $35.  Call (719) 649-6111 or (719) 352-7810 to register.


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