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MASON CITY, IA – A local group is bringing in an expert to help teach those in the community some important self-defense strategies everyone can use. And more importantly, how to identify some potentially dangerous situations before they get out of hand.
It’s a situation no one wants to be in, but knowing how to get out of it could be a life-saver.
Crisis Intervention Services Coordinator, Mary Ingham said, “A stranger assaulting you…someone following you on the street.”
The Mason City Youth Task Force is bringing in certified self-defense instructor, Jessica Tierney, to share some special tactics.
Tierney said, “Understanding the mindset of predators, how they troll for victims, what kind of ploys they use and then we’ll move into the physical concepts and how to fight back.”
She says there are ways to ward off a potentially dangerous situation before things get physical.
Tierney said, “Somebody who is going to say “You need to stop touching me,” someone who is going to draw those boundaries. You’re more likely to fight back if I attack you and I’m looking for who’s going to fight back.”
But if setting those boundaries doesn’t work, it’s time to get physical
Tierney said, “The biggest thing you want to look at is where in the body is vulnerable to pain, what does he have open and how can I get at it, you wanna hurt him, you wanna hurt him hard.”
The fact is, most of these types of attacks don’t happen in dark abandoned alleys like we see in the movies. Even if you have zero technical self-defense training, you can always rely on one thing.
Ingham said, “Trusting those instincts, trusting your feelings. A lot of people will ignore that because we’ll talk our way out of it.”
Listening to that gut feeling is key to protecting yourself, not only from strangers, but also from people you may know.
Ingham said,”80% of sexual assaults are committed by a boyfriend or acquaintance, former husband.”
And everyone involved is hoping participants can walk out feeling empowered.
Tierney said, “There are options that you can try in a situation, there is no “This is what you have to do.” Your biggest weapon is your brain.”