In Brockton, Massachusetts, It’s the second year the organization Council for Aging has offered the course for seniors to learn ways to develop awareness and assertiveness skills, said Michelle Brace, who coordinates the event.

They were taught how to block, break out of a hold, how and where to strike an attacker and, most importantly, she said, how to thwart a potential attack by “using their voice,” she said.

“People forget to use their voice when they’re in panic mode,” Brace said. “Even if it’s a greeting, acknowledge the person that’s watching you, so they know that you’re aware they’re there.”

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