Northport Baptist Church hosts course on self defense for women
By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Giselle Hood
With Tuscaloosa County racking up five homicides since Jan. 1, many residents may be feeling a little extra concerned about their safety. That’s why Northport Baptist Church is hosting a self-defense class for women who are looking for more information on staying safe.
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Lloyd Baker said staying safe is about more than knowing how to block an attack. The most important thing is avoiding an unsafe situation in the first place.
“Although it’s rare, things happen,” Baker said. “Attacks happen, assaults happen. We want to make sure we can reduce that, not just by catching the bad guys, but by teaching the good guys how to be more aware and avoid those situations.”
Between 250 and 300 women report being sexually assaulted each year in Tuscaloosa, Baker said, and most incidents of violence and assault are perpetrated by people who already know their victim.
“These types of classes allow women to have the skills and know-how to be able to address anything that may not be for their good,” said NBC Ladies Ministry member Hayley Johnson. “It will allow them to be safer as they go about their daily routines.”
Baker said tips for staying safe include walking with confidence, being assertive and avoiding drugs and alcohol. It’s also imperative that people trust their instincts. Don’t ignore those gut feelings.
“The first thing is just being aware of your surroundings,” Baker said. “A lot of times we go through life in what we call ‘Condition White,’ which is being oblivious to what’s going on around us. Knowing what and who is around you goes a long way to keeping you safe.”
If you missed this class, area law enforcement agencies team up and host similar classes several times a year. Keep an eye on the organizations’ Facebook pages for application periods.