Lady Beware: Bay officers teach women self-defense
By Jennifer Lenain
Apr 19, 2013, 19:10
Bay St. Louis Detective Gary Hudgens, left, wears protective gear as he takes hits from Katrina Piper during a "Lady Beware" course. Piper, learned how to defend herself if she were to be attacked. Bay P.D.'s Officer Duane Caughlin, right, volunteers his time and has taught the Lady Beware Course for the past four years.
The Lady Beware Course hosted 12 women on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Bay Middle School.
The course, taught by Officer Duane Caughlin of the Bay St. Louis Police Department, focused on: Situational awareness, date rape, home safety, domestic violence, firearms, weapons other than firearms; and defense tactics.
Sgt. Wes Mayley, firearms instructor, gave a lesson on firearms and tips for finding a weapon suitable for women.
Detective Gary Hudgens taught defense tactics that would be useful if a woman were caught off guard or without a weapon.
"The best weapon you have is your mind," Caughlin said.
The defense tactics portion of the course focused on surprise attacks, teaching the women how to escape a hold and provide time to get away from an attacker.
"It's fun and I've learned a lot about self-defense and how to protect myself," Katrina Piper, 16, of Gulfport, said. "I will definitely recommend this course to my friends. If I am ever put in a sticky situation, I feel like I can protect myself."
The Lady Beware Course is a community project open to all women residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Caughlin has been teaching the course once a month for the past four years, he said.
"This is the only department in the state that has this class," he said.
The next course is scheduled on May 21-23 from 6-9 p.m.
Courses will now last for three evenings, Caughlin said. Defense tactics will consume one full evening. To register for the course, contact Caughlin at (228) 466-5486. There are up to 20 spots available.