OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — After a Memphis, Tennessee mom was abducted while jogging and her body turned up days later, women across the country are upset and calling for change.
Some women in Johnson County, Kansas are taking steps to change the narrative, while staying safe.
Anytime we hear that a woman was abducted while working out outside, our own safety becomes top of mind. Women said it’s not something we should have to worry about.
“It’s completely unacceptable and it is 2022 and we’re still fighting against what I think we shouldn’t need to,” Kait Fox said.
She wants to be able to walk outside any time of day and know she’ll come home safely to her husband and two kids.
She also knows that’s not yet the world we live in.
Fox has prepared her mind and body to defend herself through the Ali Kemp Education Foundation’s T.A.K.E Defense. She’s taken at least five classes and learns something knew each time.
“They teach you to stand tall and be loud and yell stop and make sure that others hear you and feel your presence,” Fox said.
Owner of Iron Arsenal John Brown has been empowering women with defense tactics for years. It’s his lifelong passion even more precious now with two daughters of his own.
“Unfortunately, things have not gotten better out there. and predators are always looking for an individual who is not paying attention,” Brown said. “Your face is in your phone when you’re walking, you’re distracted by the kids, you’ve got headphones in, or it can be as simple as a lighting issue.”
He aims to meet people where they are emotionally and then teach them defense skills if they were to find themselves in a violent situation.
“We start anywhere from recognizing and paying attention to the hair standing up on your neck and moving away from a situation,” Brown said. “Also, some simple movements of taking advantage of situation — stepping a particular way, turning a particular way to get out of a situation.”
He said it’s also important to practice getting out of a bad situation in the right environment.
“So, we have a living room set up. We also have a kitchen and/or if you’re in a restaurant,” Brown said. “It puts people more in that less sterile environment and we can up the ante as they progressively up their skills to be able to protect themselves.”
Amy Guerich no longer runs outside before dawn.
“I think it’s very sad that as women we have to always be on guard, and we get a lot of blame,” Guerich said.
Six years ago, she said two men trailed her in Leawood, Kansas.
“They turned the block and came and followed me. and I was the only one on the street. I ran home,” Guerich said. “So, that was pretty scary.
This weekend women across the country are participating in a virtual run called “Finish Eliza’s Run.” It’s an effort to bring awareness and send a message that women should be able to run anytime, in anything and anywhere.
If you’re interested in taking a free self defense class through the Ali Kemp Education Foundation, click here.
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