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Self-defense courses offered for women

Sunday - 5/13/2012, 7:49pm  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Could you fend off an attack by a sexual predator? Some local women will get a chance to learn how over the next few weeks.

Fairfax County police are cosponsoring a two-day self-defense course on May 22 and 24 with another session set for June 12 and 14.

Lucy Caldwell, spokeswoman for Fairfax County police, says some of those participating will be assault victims who need more self-assurance.

"Women will learn different ways to handle themselves, different maneuvers on how to turn, how to use their arms and legs and how to combat someone who is coming at them from different angles," says Caldwell.

These free classes have been held in the past, but not in the last few years because of budget cuts. A donation from the Fairfax Police Law Enforcement Foundation and C&J Security Corporation will pay for the classes this time.

The defense training classes, to be held at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy in Chantilly between 6 and 9 p.m., are open to women and girls as young as 13 who come with their mothers.

"It doesn't matter how big you are," says Caldwell. "You can have a petite 13 year old who can effectively prevent an attack from occurring against her."

Space is limited for the classes and men are not allowed to take them. Sign up at wsd@fairfaxfoundation.org or call 703-246-7806.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)