Women get free lesson in rape defense

Women are taking precautions to make sure they know what to do should they get in harm's way.

A week after a woman narrowing escaped an attempted sexual assault near Surfside Beach, about a dozen women in another Grand Strand community are taking precautions to make sure they know what to do should they get in harm's way.

Tuesday night, North Myrtle Beach Crime Prevention/D.A.R.E. Officer, Julie Smith, and North Myrtle Beach Communications Technician/Jailer, Mike Frye, taught a RAD, or Rape Aggression Defense Systems class. Combined, the two have 30 years on the force.

"It's OK to be a little paranoid," Frye says.

Frye became involved after being an assistant to Julie. He says a close friend of his was raped and if he could help prevent just one incident, that was enough for him.

"I have three kids, two girls. This will be mandatory for them," he adds.

RAD is a self-defense system that is easy to learn, easy to retain and relatively easy to employ during a confrontational situation, according to NMB Police. The class included information about the basic principles of confrontation and self dependency. It also helped participants understand their responsibility for making their own decisions and finished with self-realization someone's "physical power".

The training provided resistance strategies and techniques for confrontational situations.

Tuesday, 16 women, some as young as 14, learned tips to be safer.

"It's all about giving yourself options," Frye said.

"Look under your car, and around your car before you get in," Smith says. "Part of what it is about is educating each other. Part of us as women, we thing we have our uncle, brother, or someone to help us. You have to revaluate that maybe everyone is as good as we might think."

Myrtle Beach is only safer than 1 percent of the country, according to neighborhood watch site, neighborhood scout. The website says there are 17 or 18 victims of violent crimes per 1,000 people. That's compared to 7.58 per 1,000 in the state of South Carolina.

Detectives with the Horry County Police Department are investigating the attempted sexual assault that happened last week. Spokesperson Sgt. Robert Kegler says they have no leads at this time.

Smith says there are other ways women can educate themselves if they didn't attend the R.A.D class. She says anyone can add the 24 hour numbers for North Myrtle Beach (843.280.5511) or Horry County (843.444.1520) police in their cell phones in case of emergencies.