• Women tackling self-defense

    Updated:

    PITTSBURGH - David Wright is a veteran Pittsburgh police officer who trains other officers in use of force techniques. He owns a gym in Crafton and focuses a lot of his time on teaching women how to defend themselves.

    "They're not expecting you to fight back," Crafton told Channel 11's Courtney Brennan.

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    The most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that one in five women will be the victim of rape and one in three women will experience some kind of sexual assault.

    To help combat those statistics, Allegheny County installed new surveillance cameras in neighborhoods like Oakland where robberies and assaults are more prevalent. Students there told Channel 11 that they are aware of the potential dangers.

    "I do have to walk home pretty late sometimes after I get out of anatomy lab or something like that," said Annie Yan, a medical student. "I generally make a point to be on the phone with someone, either my mom or sister or my boyfriend, just for safety precautions."

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    Taking precautions and being aware of your surroundings are great starting points. Wright taught Courtney Brennan three easy moves to use her body as a weapon if attacked.

    • Women should aim for the vulnerable spots on an attacker, like the groin, abdomen and head
    • The easiest and most powerful move is a swift front kick
    • If the attacker is closer to you, do a sharp drive with your knee
    • If you have to go for his face, don't punch with your knuckles out

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    Wright encourages all women to take a self-defense or martial arts class that gets you comfortable with using your body to protect yourself.

    "There are so many benefits to this from the fitness side of things, to the fact you are getting empowered and you are learning, 'Yeah I can defend myself,'" Wright said.


     

     

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