East Texas women learn how to "survive the predator" - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

East Texas women learn how to "survive the predator"

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TYLER (KYTX) - Ladies, if you were approached by someone trying to rob you or worse, would you know what to do?

For many women, the answer is no, so local police officers are trying to change that with a class  called "Surviving the Predator."

About 20 women of all ages learned about the predators who target them, and what to do if they act out. This wasn't just a typical self defense class. Police taught these women how to mentally prepare for violent encounters.

Being attacked by a stranger may seem like a nightmare but it's one that happens to women in our own communities.

Local police investigator Dianna Brown says, "We need to be more alert because predators are more dangerous nowadays.

Brown says women often become targets when they see themselves as the welcoming caretaker.

"We talk about not answering the door. Look through the peephole. Holler out. Why do you have to answer the door?" she said.

She's teaching women like Tyler mother, Glenda Malone, that it's time to become more aware.

"What it comes down to is just paying attention to your surroundings and the people around you," Malone said.

She has been to Brown's class three times, and has already changed bad habits.

"I absolutely do not walk through a parking lot with my telephone in my ear. I'm paying attention," she said.

A big part of staying aware is being prepared. If you stand near your car fumbling through your purse for your keys, that means you're not paying attention to your surroundings. If someone were watching, they could take action. A good thing to do is have your keys ready before you walk to your car.

If someone grabs you, there are things you can do.

"Raking someone's shin is going to hurt. You can also stomp on their toe," Brown said. She also suggests carrying a whistle or pepper spray with you at all times.

Malone urges other women to take the time to get prepared.

"Don't be the person that was trying to be nice and ends up shoved in the back of a van. It's not worth it," she said.

Brown says predators target the weak, so if you're alone, walk with confidence. If someone is following you, make eye contact with them. You can also confront them by yelling to them. Ask them loudly why they're following you, or tell them to leave you alone. Brown says if they see you're paying attention, they usually will.

The class Tuesday night was held at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #51 in Tyler. There's such a high demand for this class, that Brown is thinking about holding one every few months.

If you are interested in taking her class, call (903) 360-3323.


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