Learning to fight back: Damsels in Defense

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Learning to fight back- Damsels in Defense_53541183-159532

Rachel Scofield: 814-323-0627, rachel.scofield@gmail.com, www.ifightback.net.

Rita DeStein: 412-657-8369, preachnteachnpackn@gmail.com

Street Smart Self Defense Academy in Erie: 814-218-0977, rcheeseman72@yahoo.com

A violent crime occurs every 26 seconds. One in five women are survivors of rape. A child is abducted every 40 seconds. And the list goes on.

Owner of Street Smart Self Defense here in Erie says it’s important to learn your body and  ways to handle situations that could turn violent.

Rachel Cheeseman says it all begins with your mind.

Cheeseman says, “If you imagine your body being a gun. Your hands and feet are the bullets. Where’s the trigger? Trigger’s here. And if this is frozen in fear and in the moment your adrenaline’s not able to help you counteract that response. You’re in big trouble.”

Madison Scofield was sexually assaulted when she was just 14 years old.

Scofield says, “Before that, I really I didn’t think it would happen to me. I feel like no one … Is like ‘oh, that won’t happen to me.’ and it was extremely surprising. Extremely traumatic when it happened.”

By someone she thought she could trust.

Scofield says, “Most people think of sexual assault, the girl’s drunk. You’re at a party, maybe it’s a stranger. I was completely sober. Everyone there was completely sober. I was at his house. I thought we were just friends.”

Scofield completed Cheeseman’s self defense course years after, wishing she knew then what she knows now.

Scofield says, “You freeze. And in that moment when you don’t know what to do. I was thinking afterward, why didn’t I do that? Why didn’t I do that? But it’s difficult because when you’re in that moment, you just don’t know what to do.”

Kaelyn Randall wanted to be preventative, taking the course before heading off to college, and she says she’s lucky she did.

Randall says, “I was at a party and someone just got way too much in my personal space and was then just got angry with me that I was telling them no. And then just started verbally attacking me. So I just had to say hey back off and use what i learned in this class to take control of that.”

But it isn’t all about physical self defense.

One organization does at-home parties to sell women tools they can carry with them.

Rita DeStein says, “We want to equip women, we want to empower and we want to educate you on protecting yourself, as well as your family.”

DeStein is a independent damsel pro for damsel in defense, a company sells which tools like stun guns, mace and whistles.

DeStein says, “This is not a permanent solution. But it is something that is key where ever you are just to have something on you and something that will make you feel a little more protected.”

Both organizations says it’s not about violence, but confidence and learning to protect yourself is vital.

Randall says, “I think it’s so important that you can go out there and not have to fear who’s going to attack you and what’s going to happen to you. You know yourself that you can do it and you can defend yourself.”

Scofield says, “You only have one life, one body. And they’re the most important thing that there is. That’s it. They need to know themselves. Love themselves. And personally I know how draining it is and how much my confidence went down afterward. And you don’t want to lose that.”

Rachel Scofield: 814-323-0627, rachel.scofield.gmail.com

Rita DeStein: 412-657-8369, preachnteachnpackn@gmail.com

Street Smart Self Defense Academy in Erie: 814-218-0977, rcheeseman72@yahoo.com

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