Florence Police Offer Self-Defense Class In Response To Sexual Attacks

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – One man is behind bars in connection with a string of recent sexual attacks around Florence, but now women are fighting back to keep from being another predator’s easy target.

Tuesday night, the Florence Police Department presented a class where a group of women learned self-defense techniques to empower themselves in a time of danger.

With simple self-defense skills, Sergeant Hal Howard with the Florence Police Department says every woman can have an arsenal of tools to use when under attack.  According to the police sergeant, being your own weapon is the best defense of all.

“People need to be self-aware of their surroundings and conscious in the community.  They need to be able to take care of themselves, because police are not going to be there when you need them,” said Howard.  “When you need them in 10 seconds, they`re always about two minutes away and a lot can happen in two minutes.”

That statement is a grim reality that one woman says came to light after a crime spree of sexual attacks throughout Florence. 

“I was highly concerned about the recent break ins and assaults on the college age women because I do live in a townhome, and it could be any apartment that they pick and any house that they pick, you don`t know where it`s going to happen,” said Sara Lazenby.

As Lazenby watched the officers role play, she says it’s this type of training that gives her the upper hand, if she needs to use a hand, to take care of herself.

“I don`t want to be scared to be a woman.  I want to go out and do my things and I want to be confident,” said Lazenby.  “I don`t want to be a victim.”

There are more than 100 women still on a waiting list to learn the self-defense techniques.

With such high demand, the Florence Police Department plans to offer more classes.

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