Women came together for most of Saturday at First Baptist Church in Lenoir City in hopes of getting better prepared for self-defense.
Saturday marked the second time a women’s self-defense class was held at the church.
“The way they explained it is attackers come at women differently,” Sabrina Stamper, First Baptist women’s ministry director, said. “A guy’s going to come to come to you and probably directly hit you. When an attacker comes for a woman they’re probably going for her hair or try to choke her, and so this is how women need to defend against attacks and I thought that was interesting.”
About 15 women were present Saturday. Stamper decided to bring the program back after she saw mothers on social media posting about human trafficking.
“Everybody and moms were, ‘Be vigilant. Watch where you are, ladies.’ Well, OK, let’s learn about that,” Stamper said.
The class was led by Jane Jitsu instructor Mea Myers, who came from Clinton. Jane Jitsu is an organization designed to teach women self-defense in any situation.
Myers’ goal was to teach each woman rape escape. Over the course of the day, women would cover self-defense, how to get out of certain situations, how to escape positions and how to understand situational awareness.
“Generally between junior in high school (and) junior in college, those years in between there are some of the riskiest years for girls,” Myers said. “They need to know something to defend themselves if something were to happen or to protect themselves if they go out to a party or what have you. So they need to be aware and a lot of them aren’t, really, they’re not.
“It’s just us to get them informed, get them some information, get them easy to remember moves, because I can teach these girls today and if something happened even a year from now, certain key words are going to click in their brain,” she added. “‘Oh my God, I remember this. Do this, do this, do this.’ So it’s not hard to retain.”
Myers said going to public places near people is key.
“If you find yourself alone somewhere and you feel like somebody is following you or what have you, get to somewhere,” Myers said. “If something happens, be as loud and fight as much as you can. Perpetrators want an easy victim. If you’re not easy, it helps deter them. It may not stop it, but it may deter it.”
As part of the women’s ministry, Stamper said “we’re loving a whole person as a whole” and working to meet their needs.
“It’s not something that is not talked about, it’s not something that is a view that women have daily as we go anywhere,” Stamper said. “It’s not that it’s really so much — I think we’re just trying to self-care mind, body soul. You need to take care of yourself to defend against a physical enemy.”
Kelli Shaver and Michelle Cook participated in hopes of bettering themselves. For Cook, she hoped to pass on knowledge to her daughter when she gets older.
“Just a little bit more comfortable with a situation if it does arise,” Shaver said. “I mean I don’t expect that I’m going to learn how to completely defend myself, but at least feel a little confident.”