North Myrtle Beach Police help women protect themselves from attack

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety taught women how to best avoid becoming attack victims in a free Rape Aggression Defense Class on Saturday.

North Myrtle Beach police officers held the 7-hour class at the police department. First, they explained various self-defense techniques and how to approach different attack scenarios. During the second half of the class, they employed those techniques in a interactive demonstration.

Sarah Brown Wiley was one of the participants in the class. She says she learned the importance of self-protection many years ago. “He was inside my car and he had a switch blade. He said, ‘Give me your pocket book or I will cut your daughter but I said you better not cut my daughter and I saw his hand shake.” She says, “I never showed fear because once I showed fear, I didn’t know what might happen so I stood up to them and they knew I would just wipe you out, if you messed with me although I was just a lot of talk then but now it’s real action.”

Officer Michael Frye was one of the instructors of the Rape Aggression Defense class. He’s taught several of these classes and says the key word for women is “escape”. “What we teach in the class is not that we’re trying to teach women how to win or over power anybody. It’s about escaping someone. We teach stunning techniques in order to escape that assailant.” Officer Frye even brought his 13-year-old daughter to take part in the class. “I think it’s important that we don’t hide the fact that these dangers are out there from our young people as a matter of fact those dangers are sometimes even more so for our young people.”

Holly Hollo is the Marketing Director of The Grand Strand Running Club. She teamed up with the Public Safety Department to put the event together because of safety concerns she and other female runners have. “A lot of time for women running alone, it’s a safety concern. We’re worried all the time. It shouldn’t have to be but it just is. Women we’re always concerned,” she says.

I even got in the ring myself and learned what many of the women at today’s class say was their biggest take away -“Your body is a weapon in itself. That you can ward off any attack. And not all the time will you be not hurt but you will at least have survived.”

The North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety plans to hold more self-defense classes. The next one will be in April.