By SALLY SEXTON
A group of Parker County women Thursday attended a Healthy Woman self-defense seminar at Northside Baptist to learn ways to deal with the serious issue of assault.
Vendors from Senior Circle, Belk, Lone Star Medical Center, Damsel in Defense and more set up shop inside the Northside Baptist gymnasium to offer their services, a few goodies and self-defense tools to visitors.
“Assaults happen all too often and are more likely to occur with women,” said a spokesperson for Damsel in Defense, an organization that promotes safety for women, said.
According to a study presented by Damsel in Defense, one in five women will be sexually assaulted, an aggravated assault happens every 35 second, college women are four times more likely to be assaulted and the number of assaults has steadily increased each of the last three years.
“You’ve got to trust your instincts,” he said. “Not the pepper spray, not the taser. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”
Weatherford Police Officer Don Feare listed several tips for avoiding and/or handling dangerous situations, such as being mindful of where you are, how to deal with being followed by someone in a car, walking with company and keeping your purse close to you.
“Your self defense starts before the attack,” Feare said. “Prepare: be selective where you go, who you’re with, what time of day it is, the lighting conditions... And of course, avoid talking on your cell phone.
“Cell phones are the great distractor of safety.”
Feare gave an example of preparation in a story about a woman entering her gated apartment building. After hearing a man’s voice and his offer to help her bring her groceries upstairs, she agreed to let him, not wanting to be rude.
“On the way up, there were several little flags going off, but she didn’t want to appear rude,” Feare said.