LAWRENCE, Kan. — While students move into college housing and off-campus housing around the region, many of the new students in Lawrence will end up taking self-defense classes inspired by a terrifying and nearly tragic attack five years ago.

Carrie Mugridge was attacked while she was on a run.

“Luckily, it was just a very hot day and I kind of got lucky and I just kind of slipped out,” Mugridge said. “But we ended up fighting for three or four minutes before I got away.”

Shortly after, Mugridge says Mollie Tibbetts disappeared while she was out for a run in Brooklyn, Iowa. She was missing for months before her remains were found. The man convicted of killing her was sentenced three years later.

Those terrifying few minutes made Mugridge part of the one in four women who say they’ve been attacked with data suggesting that it’s even more common on college campuses. The more Mugridge talked about her own incident, the more common she realized it was.

“All of these women that I knew in my life were telling me, ‘Oh, this one time I was attacked in college,’ or, ‘When I was raped in college,’ or, ‘My sister was raped,” Mugridge said. “All of these women I knew my whole like that had these stories that we weren’t talking about.”

It’s why she teamed up with Prime Martial Arts Owner and Chief Instructor Jimmy Golden, who was already putting on some self-defense programs in the Lawrence area.

“We used to do one every quarter and now it turned into whoever needs it,” Golden said.

They work with local student groups and sororities to put on more than 100 training sessions, teaching scores of students how to stay safe when they move around the community and how to secure their own homes.

Now, Mugridge runs with two self-defense key chains, her dog, and stays in populated areas while trying to get as many people as possible the information to keep them safe.

“You can always see there’s several women in the audience that it connects to and you know that something has happened to them,” Mugridge said.

Prime Martial Arts is holding another free self-defense class Saturday, August 26 at 11 am at 1310 Research Park Drive, Lawrence, Kansas 66049. They’ll be giving away 100 self-defense keychains.