What would you do if you were attacked? Could you protect yourself? Lubbock Police say from June of 2012 to last month, 550 women in Lubbock were victims of aggravated assault, including domestic violence and verbal threats.
"Anybody can be a target, especially teenage girls," Teresa Walters said. "I think we all have that feeling that it won't happen to me. It will happen to someone else, somewhere else."
Walters knows from experience. Several years ago she was walking with her mother as the sun was setting.
"I noticed this man that walked past us. He slowed down, and then slowed way down until he was behind us," she said. "Something just didn't feel right."
Before the man could do anything, Walters turned around to swing at him and the man ran off.
"It made me think again about my surroundings, about paying attention to what people are doing," Walters said.
For the last 28 years Walters has been teaching just that: pay attention to your surroundings. As a kickboxing, karate and self-defense instructor, Walters now passes along knowledge that can hopefully save a person's life.
"Someone that is going to attack you is counting on someone who is not paying attention," she said. "It makes you an easy target when you're not paying attention, and you're looking down."
1. Be aware of your surroundings. Scan the parking lot before going to your vehicle. Do not be distracted by texting or talking on the phone, and have your keys in your hands. A key held like a knife could be used as a weapon if someone attacks you.
2. Get distance between you and your attacker. "The most important thing is to get your hands loose," Walters said. If some has grabbed your arm, pull away toward their thumbs, not their fingers. "Thumbs aren't as strong as your hands are," she said. "Remember - attack soft spots like their eye, throat or stomp on their foot."
3. Run and bring attention to the situation. "Do what you have to, to get away. Use anything as a weapon, and don't be nice," she said. "You're not trying to beat them up. You are trying to keep them from hurting you so you can get away."
While you may never have to use self-defense moves, Walters says it's better to be prepared. "Why invite an attack and make it easy for them," Walters said. "If you don't take care of yourself, who is? If we set ourselves up to be victims, then we will be victims."
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