More women opting for self-defense classes

Posted: Monday, July 14, 2014 --- 9:42 p.m.

More and more women are turning to self-defense courses to learn how to protect themselves.

Sgt. Brian Donohoue with Janesville Police offers a SAFE Training class to individuals, groups and organizations. SAFE stands for Self defense, Awareness, Familiarization and Exchange.

Donohoue said he's seen more female college students, especially, taking his classes.

"I think women are starting to think about their safety, and they hear things happening all over the United States, and if they can do something to make themselves feel safe," he said.

Shanny Snyder brought her sister and two aunts with her to the course. She said an uncomfortable encounter with a man near her work prompted her to learn how to defend herself.

"I'd like to be able to protect myself because I really don't know a whole lot of skills," she said.

The first part of the course offers classroom and video-based lessons. The second part is offers hands-on training on how women can physically defend themselves in an encounter.

"Anything a person can do to handle themselves in a risky situation is a good idea," said participant Rosemary Brown.

The lessons are ones police hope women never have to use, but can if needed. Several portions of the class are considered "confidential" to the participants, because police don't want attackers knowing how women are learning to defend against them.

Half-way through the course, Snyder had a message for all women to educate themselves.

"Get yourself to a place, or just look on YouTube, to find out some skills because it's important. You're important," she said.

For more information on signing up for a class, contact Sgt. Brian Donohoue at 608-755-3133 or Sgt. Donohoue also offers group courses for workplaces or organizations. Contact him if you're interested in having him come out to teach to your group.

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