College Students Learn Self Defense

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An assault at Marietta College more than a month ago has Campus Police not only working to solve the case, but also taking measures to protect other students.

Marietta College is kicking off a series of self-defense classes to help keep women safe.

"It's better that I know how to handle myself and to never use it than to be like, 'Well, I wish I would have went to that class,'" Nyssa Wilkerson, a college student, said.

Wilkerson is from Cleveland, and safety was one of the biggest things that brought her to Marietta.

"I like to think that Marietta is safe, but there are some crazies everywhere," she said.

That's why she and dozens of other women at Marietta College are taking on the challenge of self-defense.

"Who wants to be in that situation where they're being overpowered and helpless?" Nicole Holstein, a student, said.

It's those types of situations that the classes' teacher Robert Ellenwood doesn't want to see any woman find herself in.

"I have a young daughter, and yeah it's very personal to me because she's very young right now, but when she gets old enough, I've already told people she's gonna learn her first stand," Ellenwood said.

It's that kind of parent concern that pushes students like Wilkerson to take a stand.

"My parents are like, 'Did you walk back to your dorm by yourself?' I'm like 'yeah,' and they're like 'Why didn't you call the campus police?'" she said.

But when police aren't around, Wilkerson's parents can rest assured she now has the skills to hold her own.

Police say domestic violence against women is the fastest growing crime, and they say they're hoping to change that one class at a time.

Police are also hoping to offer these classes to the public eventually, and possibly add some advanced classes as well.

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