Women’s self-defense planned at the Y

Published 9:44 pm Monday, February 12, 2018

The Suffolk Family YMCA will hold a women’s self-defense course March 7, and it will be open to members and non-members alike.

“We feel that it is important for our members in the community to be prepared in any circumstance or setting they find themselves in,” said YMCA Membership Director Robbie Laughton. “We want to make sure our female members are aware of different situations and be ready. We need safety in our community and to be able to look out for dangerous situations and steer away from them.”

The YMCA teamed up with the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office to provide two free seminars. Both seminars will be on the same day, but they will offer a morning and evening session. The first session will be 10 to 11:30 a.m., and the second session will be 7 to 8:30 p.m.

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Lt. Robert Cain will lead both sessions. Cain will share information on how to handle a situation as well as avoid a dangerous situation.

“The biggest part of this is going to be situational awareness and awareness of your surroundings. We are very distracted these days with our cell phones and our lives,” Cain said. “We forget to look around and check our surroundings and put ourselves in a safe environment.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to break away from attackers, but they plan to keep the seminar simple, Cain said.

Female deputies will attend the seminar along with Lt. Cain so attendees can see that the techniques actually work against a large male.

“They have a right not to be a victim. That’s an overall thing. You have options in that situation,” Cain said.

The seminar was made possible because of Harry Cross from Cross Realty. Cross approached Sheriff E.C. Harris about doing a self-defense course, and the Sheriff’s Office happily obliged.

“I think it’s an important that this be made available to the community,” Cross said. “Guys don’t get it how young ladies can be in danger in parking lots and places. They need to be more aware of that.”

Both sessions will be free of charge to the community, and that is due to its four sponsors — Cross Realty, Southern Bank, State Farm and the Suffolk News-Herald.

The seminar is open to all women 18 or older. The YMCA recommends wearing comfortable shoes and pants to participate.

To register, participants can go to the Suffolk YMCA or call 934-9622.