Defend yourself by being aware

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On Saturday, about 200 children learned self-defense skills thanks to a partnership between the Cedar Park Police Department and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office hosted its second Children’s Self Defense Academy to teach youth participants between 3-12 years of age personal safety awareness and self-defense tactics.

This Saturday, a program called Dangerously Cute will take place at Vandegrift High School. This five-hour, hands-on workshop teaches women 12 and up lifesaving skills on how to defend themselves against sexual assault, attempted rape and parking lot attacks.

Workshops such as these benefit children and adults. However, all of these parties seem to agree that a huge reason there seems to be more problems with kidnapping, assault and theft is that victims are not paying attention to their surroundings. 

Why are they not paying attention? Devices. Rather than taking the time to be in the moment, more and more individuals are gazing into their screens, checking their email, responding to text messages, watching videos, scrolling through their Facebook feeds, Tweeting their thoughts and looking through their friend’s Snapchat stories. 

Not only is it very sad that we have lost the ability to live in the moment and entertain ourselves, it is also dangerous. Anytime your eyes are on a phone, you are increasing your risk to becoming a victim to theft, assault or other personal attacks. Why? You are an easy target. 

We are lucky to live in safe cities. Cedar Park and Leander have low rates of crime. However, the safety of our cities can come to a disadvantage of us when a situation does arise. Never assume that you don’t need to be aware of your environment. Maybe a visitor from another city decides to attack one of our residents because he or she heard that we are all very unsuspecting. Maybe it is one of our own. Maybe it is your next-door neighbor. 

The point is that it is crucial for our children to learn to be mindful of what is going on around them. It is essential that our adults are leading by example. Practice what you preach and get your nose out of your iPhone. We are better than this. 

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