Slipping into bed after a long girlâ€™s night out is relieving, but waking up with an intruder in that bed is frightening. And without the proper training, the situation could turn deadly.
More than 100 women were grabbed, choked and thrown around the North Ballroom in the Lory Student Center Saturday, but they were not being attacked â€“â€“ they were learning how to defend themselves.
â€œThis is something we wanted to do for a long time,â€ said Katie Decker, freshman sports medicine major and Pi Beta Phi sorority member.
Decker and her mother Debbie Decker partnered up for a two-hour defense education session for women provided by The Ali Kemp Foundation, or T.A.K.E.
T.A.K.E started after 19-year-old Kansas State University Student Ali Kemp was beaten and murdered while working at a local pool. Her parents began the foundation to teach young women to prevent similar tragedies.
Instructors Bob and Jill Leiker, who have more than 25 years of martial arts experience, led the session as theyâ€™ve done for more than 40,000 other women across the country.
â€œIf youâ€™re a rapist, youâ€™re a predator; youâ€™re a stalker. You should go to jail,â€ Bob said to the crowd.
Bob was the former director of community corrections in Kansas City and has seen rapists and sex offenders first-hand.
The duo taught the group proper ways to remove themselves from various holds and grabs to prevent an attacker. A flurry of blue shirts with the T.A.K.E logo repeated the moves with loud yells followed by laughter.
The Leikers told serious stories of other women who told their attack stories in order to keep the message alive. In one instance, the fact that an attacker will usually see their victim six to 12 times before making a move was illustrated through the story of a woman attacked by her repairman.
â€œThings can happen anywhere. But why give someone the edge,â€ Bob said.
Simple precautions like staying in groups and not flaunting jewelry or purses can deter an attacker. Bumper stickers on cars are also something to consider removing. The Leikers say people normally never think to take such steps, but can keep potential predators away but doing so.
â€œRoger Kemp says that this program will all be worth it if we save one personâ€™s life, and thatâ€™s what itâ€™s about,â€ Jill said.
Pi Beta Phi raised more than $2,600 throughout the community to bring T.A.K.E to CSU after doing one of the organizationâ€™s programs at a convention. Kemp was a Pi Phi, which motivated the chapter to bring her message to campus.
Pi Beta Phi chapter President Lindsay Hestermann said the biggest thing she and her sorority can do through these sessions is give to women in their own sorority house and people throughout the community the confidence to feel empowered.
â€œThis is huge,â€ Hestermann said.
Crime Beat Reporter Rachel Childs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.