By Abigail Loop
A group of Baylor women now have the skills and the knowledge to stay safe and fight back.
The Women’s Safety Workshop, held Wednesday in the Bill Daniel Student Center, taught safety measures ranging from how to hold their keys when walking toward their cars, to holding off an attacker in a series of defense moves.
Dr. Monique Marshall, a staff psychiatrist at the Baylor Counseling Center, started off the workshop by giving a lecture on the safety concerns that college girls should be aware of.
“Everyone believes that people in the Baylor bubble are safe,” Marshall said “I don’t want to scare you, but that’s not necessarily true. For example, running the Bear Trail at night, putting your drink down at parties and just by not paying attention, you can put yourself in danger.”
By reading a set of statistics, Marshall showed that most rape victims knew their attackers, a major cause of death in college is accidents involving alcohol, and that freshman and sophomore girls were most likely to experience sexual assault.
Marshall reassured attendees that her goal was not to make boys seem unlikable, but to make sure that women stayed aware.
Dallas freshman Alex King said by attending this workshop, she gained a greater understanding of common college dangers.
“I think the most important thing I learned from this is that you should always be aware of your surroundings,” King said. “I’ve gone to something like this before and I think it’s necessary that girls attend.”
Women who attended the workshop not only learned how to avoid dangerous situations, they learned how to defend themselves when a situation is unavoidable.
Abilene junior Chase Turnbow, who has a background in karate, acted as a self-defense instructor at the workshop.
Turnbow taught the women how to fight off an attacker in multiple ways, including how to react if someone comes up from behind, how to get out of a chokehold and how to act if someone grabs your arms.
“Try not to get into situations where there’s absolutely nothing you can do,” Turnbow said. “Stay in groups and keep your keys in your hands. Don’t use your cellphone when walking because that could be a distraction.”
Turnbow went on to explain the different point on an attacker’s body that could be hit and had attendees practice the moves in partners.
Sacramento, Calif., junior Kellie Dobson said that this part of the workshop was her favorite.
“I had never been to something like this,” Dobson said. “I like knowing how to defend myself. I also liked learning the throwing and punching moves.”
Castle Rock, Colo., freshman Miranda Dunn agreed with Dobson.
“I think it’s important that I learned ways to protect myself,” Dunn said. “I feel like I’ll be safer after learning this. “
With the workshop combining the safety awareness presentation and a lesson in self-defense, the women that attended said they left with more confidence and more knowledge on how to overcome being a victim.
“I thought this was so cool and very informative,” Dunn said.