Women learning to protect themselves from danger

From Southern Utah University Journal, Cedar City, UT
Sept. 14, 2009
By Cheri Peacock

Women learning to protect themselves from danger
Among college-age women, there is a one-in-three chance of becoming a sexual assault victim, according to On Target Defensive Tactics Instructor Dan Kidder.

This is just one of the reason why on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., a Marine Corp Hand to Hand Combat class will be just for women in the Boomer Building, located at 5 N. Main St.

This two-day class will teach women the most effective ways to maximize lower body strength and be able to use it to their advantage. The class will also teach how to disarm an armed attacker who has a knife or gun, as well as how to neutralize the attacker with little effort.

Lyn'D Reay, a junior music major from Price said she thinks self-defense classes are a good idea.

"I have taken several self-defense classes because they teach important things like how to get out of tricky situations," she said.

Kidder, who has (instructed for) the FBI, Secret Service and CIA, has trained more than 400 women in Cedar City in the past year.

He wants to offer this training so women are aware of things they can do to keep themselves safe, including dress, surroundings and defense mechanisms if they are attacked.

There were two reported rape cases at SUU last year, Kidder said.

He said Utah has a 90 percent unreported rape statistic and the highest per capita rape incident in the United States.

A victim is 70 percent more likely to be attacked by a familiar person rather than a stranger, Kidder said.

"You can only trust you to keep yourself safe," he said.

Kidder said it's important to be aware of your surroundings, and the most important thing is "not putting yourself in a vulnerable situation." This includes drinking and also how you dress.

However, Kidder stressed that it is not just dressing provocitively that is the problem; it is wearing shoes that would allow you to run (not flip-flops or high heels) and clothes that do not constrain you.

"Victimizers are looking for easy prey and if you portray that you are easy prey, you are more likely to become a victim," he said. "If you look like a challenge, they will pass you by."

While all these techniques are important to keeping yourself safe, Kidder said, "You can talk all day long about averting dangerous situations, but until you give women tools to defend themselves, you have no effect."

Kendra Lee, freshman music major from Pleasant Grove said the self-defense classes are a good idea for women.

"We are girls and are naturally built weaker than men. It's important to know tricks to catch guys off guard," Lee said.

This course teaches lethal techniques that are taught to special operations forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Kidder said that the class teaches when a victim can use deadly force and when they cannot.
"It's a very serious thing to misuse these techniques," he said.

Lethal techniques are taught because Kidder said that when a successful rape goes unreported, there is a one-in-three chance that the victimizer will return to the same victim.

"The victimizer will return to silence the victim for good or because he knows she won't report it so he'll go back for more," Kidder said.

Offered once a month, the course cost is $35 and pre-registration is required by Sept. 19. Women interested in taking this course can register online at www.utontarget.com.
This course is open to women age 18 and older, or 16 with parental permission.

The cost of ignorance is far higher than the price of our training.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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