APPLETON, Wisc. - A group of mom's in the Fox Cities is putting their safety in their own hands.
"Knowing how to take on an attacker, maybe where to focus on, what to say, how to scream, I think that's going to be important,” said Nykki Milhaupt, member of the group “Mom’s Run This Town”, based in the Fox Cities.
About 30 members of that group showed up to learn self defense Sunday. Several say they've experienced uncomfortable situations while running on the Fox River Trail, now they're ready to fight back.
"Knowing how to defend ourselves and defend those that are around us or that we love are important,” Milhaupt said.
The women spent the morning inside Championship Martial Arts in Appleton taking the free class. They learned the basics of self defense and practiced those skills several times with real partners. The hope of course is never using them in real life.
"When you can walk with confidence and you can walk around the area and you feel good about yourself, number one, you're really eliminating yourself as a target because the bad guy doesn't want to go after the person who looks confident,” said instructor, Shane Tassoul.
Anybody can become a victim. Even though statistics show most violent attacks happen to women, Tassoul says it's an important skill for men to learn also.
"It's like learning to swim, everybody learns to swim, everybody has a smoke detector for their house, so you know, you don't throw somebody in the water and say hopefully you can swim, we teach them how to swim first,” he said.
The women say they feel more confident about hitting the trail again soon.
"I know that they'll be able to take what they learned today and share it with the other moms,” Milhaupt said.
The group says it encourages everybody to take a self defense class at some point, and says raising awareness is one of the best ways to cut down on possible attacks in the community.