Awareness is the first key of defense. May it be driving to your friend’s house, walking around
the supermarket, or even seating in the library, being aware of your surroundings can help you remove yourself in a possible dangerous situation.
As part of the Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Fullerton College Sociology Club hosted a Take Back the Night self-defense training on Tuesday afternoon at the quad.
Angie Andrus, the adviser of sociology club, has been organizing the self-defense demonstrations for years now.
This year, she invited two Fullerton Police Department officers to demonstrate and to educate students of the key to self-defense.
Sociology club president, Charlene Egizi said, “it’s really beneficial because a lot of people have no idea if somebody comes up and grabs you from behind how to get away from that.”
Cpl. Joe Torres of the Fullerton Police Department talked to students about general safety.
He emphasized about knowing your surroundings. Being aware of what’s going on around you can help situate yourself and be two steps ahead of the attacker.
Part of knowing your surroundings is eliminating distractions. Sending text messages or checking your social media on your phone while walking, and listening to music with your earphones on pulls your attention away from your surroundings.
Torres also talked about having a plan and switching up your pattern.
People are creatures of habit and like to do things that feel comfortable.
Parking at the same spot and walking to class using the same route every day automatically makes one an easy target for an attacker.
Cpl. Veronica Gardea also talked about things one can do when under attack.
Attackers’ primary strategy is the element of surprise. Victims have seconds to decide whether they’re going to “fight, flight or freeze.”
Gardea explained to students that there are no rules to self-defense. You can use absolutely everything and anything to defend yourself. Creating distance between you and the attacker is the key, and if you decide to fight, “lower your center of gravity for balance,” she added.
She also advised the students to find their voice, “yell and scream for help even if the person ran away.”
Gardea continued, “Make sure you report it…There’s a lot of sexual assault that are not reported.”
Self -defense is not just about body contact and fighting. Knowing what to do, utilizing the resources you have and by having the campus safety number as well as the local police department’s contact number on your mobile device can save you from life-threatening situations.