Most women grow up learning to be kind, polite, and lady like but when it comes to defending herself, she should be anything but.Last year in Dougherty County, there were 1,054 female victims of violent crimes recorded. Women are becoming more aware of the dangers around them and taking time to learn how to protect themselves."We do wellness programs here. The response most of the time is 5 to 6 people. When we said we'd have a self defense course, the phone has been ringing off the hook. We actually met our limit on paper and had to turn people away" says the Recreation Supervisor of Jackson Heights Fitness and Wellness Center, Donna Rountree.The Albany Police Department tells us their Firearms Safety Course is also seeing an increase in women participants.Whether its a firearms course or self defense, there are many local opportunities for women to learn how to defend themselves and many of the classes are free!Edwin Willis is a 5th degree blackbelt and teaches self defense classes around our community. He teaches women they do not have to be a victim. Women need to do everything they can to get away from an attacker."Don't do like we see in the movies where women faint and the men drag them off. I want you to drag them off! They need to be kicking, fighting, and biting" exclaimed Willis.Willis also teaches women to use everyday items to defend themselves, such as a fork, ball point pen, or even an earring post!Women are gaining confidence through this defense education and the participants all agreed it felt really good to be wiser and know how to defend themselves.