Protecting yourself during the Christmas shopping season

Self-defense tips

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Aniah Blanchard’s mother Angela Harris has urged parents to teach their children to be careful when they leave home.

Blanchard was kidnapped on October 23 and her remains were identified in Macon County Wednesday.

It’s a busy time of year, people out all the time, shopping or running other errands, but are they paying attention to their surroundings?

“There are so many young women. Not only women but men not cognitive of their surroundings,” Officer Lane Harper said.

Officer Lane Harper is with the Birmingham Police Department and teaches self defense techniques.

“You have to fight scream, kick, run. Fighting will get you off. Fighting will move them back,” Harper said.

Suppose you are grabbed from behind.

“The only thing you have to do is hold up your hands straight up. it will knock their hands down and you push them away,” Harper said.

If you are grabbed around the throat?

“You can’t struggle they are super strong. You can pull. drop your foot. Then turn around toward the arm that has you. Push away,” Harper said.

Officer Harper said it just takes three pounds of pressure to slam down on an attackers foot to break it.

When you are out, don’t be distracted and don’t travel alone.

“If you travel with someone whoever you go with make sure you return home with them.Travel in a group. Make sure you have apps on our phone so people can keep up with your location,” Harper said.

Getting away is key. Don’t get into or be forced into a vehicle. The acronym SKFR, scream, kick, fight, run to call 911.

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