The Army Community Service is partnering with the Fort Rucker Military Police to present a workshop on self defense in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The class will be held April 17, 2014 at the Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Center from 4:30-6 p.m. It is free and open to the public. All participants are asked to wear gym clothes to the event, including sneakers or gym shoes, per Twanna Johnson, garrison sexual assault response coordinator.

Parents are advised that the self-defense program would be inappropriate for children younger than 14 years of age. “We are not socially aware nowadays. We need to be conscious of who is around us, what we are doing and where we are going, and not be so absorbed in our phones,” she said. “We are multitasking instead of just focusing on getting to our car safely or shopping safely. A lot of times a predator will prey on those who are distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings.”

The course will be taught by Staff Sgt. Shamika Sanders, but Staff Sgt. Jason Goldsmith, traffic management collision investigations NCO in charge, will be talking to participants before the demonstrations. Topics will include, things to be aware of and when to be aware of them, assault percentages, environmental aspects of assault in public places, safe practices of being alone in public places, and situational awareness. “This class will not teach people how to attack someone. It will just be a basic class on how to defend yourself and get away from an aggressor if you are approached or attacked,” said Johnson. “She will just demonstrate basic and fundamental techniques.”

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