When USC Student Taylor Carrasco was robbed at gunpoint in the Wells Fargo parking lot in Five-Points, she was in complete shock.
"We had two people that came after us, one went away and then the one guy just tackled me to the ground," Carrasco said. "Then they all got back in the car and sped off."
Carrasco said she never thought something like this would happen to her, especially because she was with a group of people. She explained how she went into complete shock and did not know what to do.
This attack is unfortunately not rare for the Columbia area, University of South Carolina Police Department has developed self-defense classes taught regularly at Strom Thurmond Wellness Center, free of charge for students, faculty and staff. Instructor Lieutenant Teena Gooding said the class could help people like Taylor in dangerous situations.
"It's also fun," Lieutenant Gooding said.
She explained how the class does not just show proper defense moves.
"We're trying to build your confidence and the power that you have and make you realize how strong you are, many women do not realize how strong they really are, and the class is an important tool to show women how to use their physical strength to their advantage to protect themselves in ways they never thought possible," Gooding said.
Lieutenant Gooding holds four-hour self defense classes four times per semester, and three two-hour mini sessions per semester. The full class includes lecture training, and a full hands on contact training experience. The two-hour mini session is only lecture training. The classes hold 30 women per class. You can visit www.sa.sc.edu/shs/savip/self-defense/ to reserve a spot in the class and pick from the class schedules.
"Women have thanked me for helping them defend themselves, and it's so empowering to them, and to me as an instructor, to know they can use these skills in the real world to protect themselves," Gooding said.
Carrasco has not taken the class, but agrees with Gooding that it would have been beneficial to have proper training to handle her terrifying attack.