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April is sexual assault awareness month

Statistics show that a sexual assault happens every two seconds in the United States according to the CDC.

Studies conclude that one in five women in the U.S. have been raped at some point in their life.

April is sexual assault awareness month and is dedicated to educating people how to avoid being a victim of sexual assault.

A self-defense class at Lake Michigan College on Saturday taught women the importance of being aware and how to avoid dangerous situations.

“This class is mostly about awareness. Bringing awareness to women, how to avoid situations, conflicts, the best way out of it, and letting them know they already have the ability to make the right choices," said Vytis Performance and Athletics Owner and class instructor Erik Petravicius.

Being aware of your surroundings is the best way to protect yourself. Avoid being on your phone while walking around outside, especially at night. Keep your car doors locked at all times and know what's going on around you.

A lot of times protecting yourself can come in the form of being verbal, using assertiveness without the physical force. This could mean assertively telling someone to "back away" if they're trying to harm you.

“If I don't have to get in a physical altercation because I'm aware of my surroundings and what's going on  even before I leave the house, that's a good day for me. Once it turns physical, there's so many variables you can't control.”

Petravicius talked about what to do if you find yourself a victim to being attacked and how to be a "good victim."

"Being a good victim means taking notes on the perpetrator. Take notes of their physical appearance like weight, height, and type of clothes. Does the person have tattoos or crooked teeth? Take mental notes of these things and write them down as soon as you're able to so you can help the police help you," Petravicius added.

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