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Lee Co. Sheriff's Dept. empowering women with self-defense classes

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LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) -

Stay Back. It is a simple phrase that could mean the difference between life and death.

"You never know when bad can strike," say Cpl. Pamela Revels, of the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Revels has taught the Rape Aggression Defense class (RAD) to members of the community for years, empowering women to defend themselves in any situation.

"Self defense is 90 percent being aware and doing something to prevent an actual occurrence from happening, but if something we're to happen then you're also prepared in a physical manner to help yourself," said Revels.

This year, the 12 hour course is takes place every Monday in March for three hours at Southern Union Community College in Opelika.

This month 25 women signed up. They are a mixture of students, faculty, and community members.

"There are a lot of people out there and I just want to be prepared," says one participant, 12-year-old Joy Flowers.

She and her mom signed up for the class this year with the thought that you can never be too safe.

"I'll get some courage. I won't be afraid to defend myself so I'll be more confident," states Flowers.

At the end of the course the women put their skills to the test through a simulation. This is where participants are able to practice their techniques by getting away from an aggressor. It's a part of the course most women are looking forward to, like Beulah resident Megan Norred.

"Practicing this over and over again you learn the moves, but you never put them into action, but with (the simulation) at the end you're actually going to use them so they will be in their head," explains Norred.

"Your body actually prepares you to flight, fight or if you're not prepared you will freeze and that is the part we are trying to take away," says Revels. "They are ready to fight or flight is need be."

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