Campus Crime: Striking Back with Self-Defense

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Three crimes have happened close to the Marshall University campus in the last few days.

The latest happened in a parking lot located in the the 500 block of 20th Street.

A Marshall University student was sexually assaulted, and Huntington Police are still investigating.

In the two other cases, which were robberies, arrests have been made. According to an email sent to students by Marshall University Police, more charges could come as a result of the investigation.

In the meantime, students are playing it safe -- walking with friends and staying alert.

Campus Police Officer Sgt. Scott Ballou has taught more than 2,000 students a self-defense class since 1999. It's known as the R.A.D. Self Defense Method.

"Every woman, I think, should take a step in taking some kind of self-defense class," Ballou said. "If something does happen, they know what to do."

The class is giving students, including senior Laura Rone, confidence she didn't know was possible.

"I think it should be mandatory for all college freshman," Rone said. She took the class as a junior.

"Until you actually get grabbed in the moment, you almost panic and you don't know what to do, so that was crazy for me," Rone said. "I always thought I'd definitely be able to do something, but until you take the class -- what they teach you is that it becomes second nature where you don't have to think you just know what to do."

Rone and Ballou said there are a few quick takeaways that you can learn without taking the class.

"Your voice is probably one of your number one personal weapons you have on you everyday," Ballou said. "It lets others know you have a problem. So if you do anything using your voice to defend yourself is a good tool."

Another good idea to consider is this: if a perpetrator pulls on your arm, don't try to pull away. You run the risk of hurting yourself. Focus on vulnerable locations of the attacker's body like the elbow joint, the face or the groin, Ballou said.

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