Self defense combats sexual assault

As the search continues for an attacker on Beaumont's north end some women are turning to self-defense to protect themselves.

The owner of Texas Punishment Crew, Jason Ebarb, said Jiu-Jitsu is a great way to give women the skills they need to fight off an aggressor.

"It works very well because all the techniques are based on leverage and not so much strength and size," Ebarb said.

One of his students, Dominique Olivarez, said she encourages other women to take classes to learn some simple techniques to repel an attacker.

"First of all it's given me a lot of confidence so I'm not going to be totally freaked out if a bigger man were to come up to me," Olivarez said. "I feel better knowing I do Jiu-Jitsu."

For women who aren't as enthused about hitting the mat, there are less hands-on options.

Jim Hadrick, the owner of JJ's Pawn Shop and, said he's seen more women buy firearms and get concealed handgun licenses in the last five years then he has his entire career.

"A woman that learns to shoot they're usually committed to carrying that gun," Hadrick said.

If a firearm is not an option Hadrick said it's better to protect yourself with pepper spray instead of a stun gun. A purse or pocket size spray can cost between $10 and $15. The more equipped sprays can cost up to $30.

"Pepper spray is better for someone who doesn't want to carry a gun or have a gun," Hadrick said. "Even a stun gun, you're up close and personal you don't want to be that close in range."

However, Olivarez said unlike someone with hands-on skills a weapon may not always be accessible.

Police will be at the north end neighborhood association meeting answering questions concerning the assaults on July 15 at 6 p.m. at Pioneer Presbyterian Church.

If you have information that you think will help police find the man responsible you're urged to call the special crimes unit, at 409-880-3840. You can also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crimestoppers at 409-883-TIPS (8477.)


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