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Canton residents attend free self-defense class in response to recent crime

Posted at 11:26 PM, Sep 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-12 23:26:54-04

BALTIMORE — Stephanie Morrow and her friends live in Canton and say they decided to take a self-defense class to help them feel more confident being out by themselves.

"Whether it's those small break-ins where no one is home or bigger break-ins where you know guns are involved, stuff like that it's scary to hear about," Morrow said.

The women say they have noticed more crime than usual happening in the area.

"I definitely think it led me to want to do this class even more hearing that these crimes are happening in our neighborhood and that didn't used to happen," says Lisa Becker.

Because of this, CareFirst began to offer this class for free to the public. They say it's their way of helping communities.

Shar Ferrell, who is the director for the engagement center at CareFirst, said, "We offer it once a month externally, but if we continue to see classes this size, we'll probably move to two times a month."

The women got hands-on experience trying out different ways to escape an attacker.

"I thought it was very informative; it opened my eyes to things I didn't realize at first, but it was an enjoyable experience," Morrow said.

The hour-long class taught the women some simple yet effective moves, things like breaking a wrist hold or freeing themselves from someone who catches them from behind.

CareFirst offers this class once a month for those who want to sign up in advance.

CareFirst also says they are looking into partnerships with schools to have self-defense classes for students 13 and older who may be interested.