Women can learn how to ‘fight back’

Erin Weed will start out her self-defense seminar with the story of Shannon McNamara.

Weed and McNamara were both Alpha Phi sorority sisters and best friends when McNamara was murdered in 2001, after being attacked and attempting to fight off her attacker.

Erin Weed will present a 90-minute presentation at 8 p.m. today in Lantz Arena, teaching women how to “fight back.”

After McNamara was murdered, Weed become interested in learning about self-defense and trained with self-defense experts.

Weed’s program can be broken down into three steps: trusting intuition, being a bad victim or “hard target,” and teaching women defense tips.

Weed said she uses humor in her presentation to help keep the topic light.

“Just because something is an intense subject doesn’t mean you have to be scared sitting in your seat,” she said.

Weed has been traveling the nation for eight years and has spoken to about a half-million people on the topic of self-defense.

Weed said women should come to the seminar because the attack happened at Eastern and could happen to anyone in places they think are safe.

“I will focus more on the things you can do and not the things that are out of your control,” Weed said.

Carissa Coon, president of the Pan-Hellanic Council, said people think Charleston, or anywhere for that matter, is a safe place, and that is sometimes not the case.

Alpha Phi helped bring Weed to campus along with the Pan-Hellenic Council, the Kinesiology and Sports Studies (KSS) Honors Club and Beta Sigma Gamma.

Justin Tomaska, president of the KSS Honors Club, thinks Weed’s presentation will give women ideas about self-defense they can use.

“I think since she presents it in a different way, they will remember them (the techniques) and use them in the future,” he said.

Megan Patterson, member of Alpha Phi and the KSS Honors Club, said she thinks women should know these techniques.

Patterson attended the seminar last year and said there were four steps in the presentation on how to fight off an attacker.

The Four Steps:

If you are ever faced with an attacker, put out hand and say “Stop. You are making me uncomfortable.”

If attacker still comes for you, go for their eyes or kick them in the groin. Put attention on them.

Kick them while they are down

Run to a safe place and make as much noise as possible

Heather Holm can be reached at 581-7942 or mailto:[email protected]