The Bolivar County Sheriff’s Department, American Association for University Women of Cleveland and Delta State University Graduate and Continuing Studies Department conducted a Self Defense Training Workshop on Saturday in DSU’s Wyatt Gym.
Women came from throughout Bolivar County to take part in the workshop.
It was conducted by Sheriff Kelvin Williams and certified training instructors, Chris Gaughf, Brandy Hudson and Bradley O'Connell
"It's the holiday season and women are out shopping. We are just trying to ensure the safety of holiday shoppers by offering them a few techniques in the event of an attack," said Williams.
During the workshop, O'Connell served as an aggressive attacker during each exercise.
Attendees were shown various defense mechanisms and then mirrored the mechanisms on O'Connell.
"It is very important for women to know how to defend themselves in any situation whether it be an abusive spouse or a purse snatcher," said Gaughf.
"If you are being robbed, the safest thing to do is to comply with the attacker's requests. It can turn ugly, especially if the attacker has a knife or gun. If asked to empty your bag or pockets, obey calmly," he said during the purse snatching demonstration.
According to Williams, when many women are attacked, they try to avoid having their vision obstructed because it makes them feel more vulnerable.
"If an aggressor grabs you by your shirt or your jacket, you should try to maneuver out of it as fast as possible and run away," he said.
Williams also said that the victim should never try to be a hero and always focus on getting away from the aggressor rather than defending themselves.
"If someone snatches your purse, you should never chase them. When you are out shopping for the holiday, try not to go alone but if you must, do not place your cell phone inside of your purse. You should have your phone in a pocket or somewhere close," he added.
During the first demonstration, women were shown how to look for pressure points on the aggressor that could briefly disable or cause the attacker to become unconscious.
According to Gaughf, pressure points can be hit, rubbed or pressed to disable an aggressor.
"If you hit anyone of those pressure points, your attacker is going down. After he is down, you should run as fast as you can to get away," said Gaughf as he demonstrated the affects of hitting the pressure points on O'Connell.
Williams said that one reason some women are attacked is because they are not aware of their surroundings.
"It is very important to be aware of your surroundings, and be especially alert when you reach areas with poor lighting," he added.
The workshop was set to also have a firearm training session but due to weather conditions it was postponed and a date has not yet been scheduled.