Fluvanna Sheriff's Office Offers Free Self-Defense Training
Sheriff Ryant Washington speaks to the participants.
A personal safety training course is teaching people in Fluvanna County to fight back if faced with an attacker. More than 80 people took part in Saturday's free course put together by the Fluvanna County Sheriff's Office. That's double the number of students compared to last year's training.
"Nobody wants to be a victim," Lauren Levac, a course participant, said.
Levac wants to have power to fight back if attacked.
"I don't want that situation to happen, but to be able to react and have the situational awareness to react intelligently - and I feel like that's what everybody wants - that's what all the mothers want for their daughters and for themselves," she said.
This day of safety tips and drills prepared participants for real-life situations they hope they never have to face.
"In light of all the things going on in the country dealing with abduction and sexual assault cases, I think it's a good time to reeducate and reinforce the message," Sheriff Ryant Washington said.
They learned how to report a crime, and how to stop an attacker.
"One of the biggest things we want them to understand is they really need to make sure that they react and respond and that they practice what they're learning here because this has to become instinctual," said karate instructor Robert Silverman.
During part of the course participants practiced intense physical drills.
"The first time that you're actually attacked and they're putting their hand against your throat you panic, and you're like oh my god it's like flail, whatever, so doing that here where you can say ok let's do that again, now I'm going to try and cup, now I'm going to try - that is going to be invaluable if I'm ever in a situation," Levac said.
Then participants learned the mindset for overcoming an attacker.
"You have to disconnect emotionally from the fact that you're doing harm to somebody because either you're going to do harm to them or they're going to do it to you, Silverman said.
Now they're armed with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves.
The Fluvanna County Sheriff hopes the course will double in participation again next year. The instructor says even if you've taken a self-defense course, it's important to keep practicing so you're always prepared.