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Women turn out for Ulster County self-defense workshop

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Albany/HV: Women turn out for Ulster County self-defense workshop
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More than 70 women took part in a self-defense and safety workshop in Ulster County. It was a joint effort between the county Sheriff's Office and Keith Bennett's Karate Academy for women who say now's the time to start learning how to protect themselves. Our Eva McKend filed the following report.

KINGSTON, N.Y - Women from around the Hudson Valley packed the room Saturday at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center, all in an effort to learn how to better protect themselves.

"How to carry your keys, what’s in your purse, how to get away, this is all part of about a three second rule in getting away. It’s not about standing there and fighting somebody. It’s about getting away from an attacker," said instructor Keith Bennett.

Molly Brown, 15, came with her mother.

"There’s a lot of girls that get taken advantage of and I just thought it was important for me to defend myself in case anything really bad happened," said Brown.

"There are a lot of things happening with kids, young girls, at her school. There was a young girl that got approached and I was really kind of concerned," said her mother Myrna Capaldi.

The Ulster County Sheriff said that domestic violence prevention is a priority. He hopes the skills the women acquire in the class will have an impact on the county.

"I think it will make a stronger rapport between the female community and the police community and also it will get the women in here to interact amongst themselves. I’m sure they are going to be telling stories, personal stories of things that have happened in their life and I think it will snowball effect after that," said Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum.

And that's just the point, to get more women to think about their personal safety, use their intuition, recognize risk factors and report the issues they may encounter to the authorities. Bennett said that due the popularity of this class, he will offer more free self-defense classes in the near future.

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