Auburn Family

Women's Self Defense Class for College Credit

Imagine you are walking through the parking deck to your car after a late night spent at the library studying. Keys in hand, you make a beeline for your car. You hit the unlock button on your remote control key fob and the lights blink. But when you open the trunk to deposit your heavy backpack, someone grabs you from behind.

            This is the nightmare of many college age women. It is hard to feel confident going places alone when you feel helpless. However, Auburn University is taking action to make sure that their female students feel safe and equipped to handle threatening situations like the one mentioned above.

            A self-defense class is offered to only female students for elective credit. The class teaches different techniques to both scare off and fend off attackers. Kelli Bates, a senior majoring in nursing, took the class her sophomore year in college.

            “The class was really helpful not only because of the information that I learned but because of the confidence it gave me as well. I no longer feel helpless when I have to go places by myself because I feel prepared in case something bad were to happen,” Bates says. 

            Bates also says one helpful tip she learned in the class was to use any object that you have in your hand to ward off an attacker. She also learned different weak areas on the body that you should target if you are trying to get away and that you should yell words like “Stop” instead of screaming.

            “Screaming wears you out and you are more likely to pass out or become exhausted quickly,” she says.

            Bates says the class was taught by police officers that let them practice their moves on them. “They wore safety suits and for the final we had to fight them. It was a good way to put our new skills into practice to make sure that we were doing them correctly.”

            Bates would definitely recommend this class to any female at the university and for those who do not attend Auburn to take a similar class wherever they are from if it is offered. “I think it’s important that we, as women, educate ourselves in case bad situations do arise. It might not make the world a safer place but it will help protect our sisters, mothers and friends,” Bates concluded.

            The self-defense for women class is offered one day per week for 50 minutes each class and is for one hour of college credit. It is held in the coliseum. For more information on this class, visit

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