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Self-defense: What you're doing right, wrong | News

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Self-defense: What you're doing right, wrong
News, Public Spaces
Self-defense: What you're doing right, wrong

(WXIA) -- There have been too many stories lately of women being attacked while exercising on public trails.

These reports sparked a conversation among the Atlanta Alive team, centered around ways to avoid becoming a victim.

So what does a victim look like? With all of today's technology, in a word, distracted. Self-defense experts Cole and Vanessa Parker accompanied 11Alive's Kaitlyn Ross to Piedmont Park to see just how easy it is to become less aware of your surroundings.

RELATED | Woman who was attacked while jogging shares her story

The Parkers pointed out women who were too distracted to be completely safe. They saw several people on cell phones; Vanessa Parker said talking on a cell phone takes away 50 percent of the user's hearing and vision.

"She has both headphones in her ears. She has her phone in her hand," Cole Parker said of another woman. "She didn't even turn around to see what's going on with this guy. She's not going to see him until the last minute."

Cole Parker said women who don't pay attention may not see potential attackers until it's too late. He said to save phone conversations for home.

When people become comfortable with a certain area, like Piedmont Park, they tend to let their guard down. The Parkers said if someone approaches, women shouldn't be afraid to get loud.

"Your voice is your very first line of defense," Vanessa Parker said. "We are taught as young girls to be quiet, but as women, in situations, it is time to use your voice."

Cole Parker demonstrated: "Put your hands in front of you. Say, 'Back! Get away from me!' -- something very strong, alert."

Both Parkers tell women to trust their guts if something doesn't feel right.

"You can't always prevent an attack from happening, but you can be a little more prepared," Vanessa Parker said.

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