(CBS) — Lauren Kosrow is a faculty librarian at Triton College but is also a black belt.
“I’ve been doing Martial Arts since I was 9 years old. I was an instructor for over five years in high school and college,” said Kosrow.
“At Triton, it’s typically a lot of female college students but today’s class, there are a few men. What people are looking for is practical tips,” she said. “In an hour, you’re not going to be a ninja. In an hour, you’re not going to have everything you possibly need to be prepared for every circumstance but I think some quick tips and things you can incorporate in your daily routine to make you feel a little more aware and confidence can help.”
Today, she’s leading an important lesson on how to stay safe and how to defend yourself if attacked. The biggest mistake she says students make when walking alone?
“I would say, especially here on Triton, what I witness is cell phones. Walking out to your car at night, not being aware of your surroundings. I think texting, being on your cellphones, not being aware or fully aware is probably the biggest things I see on campus,” said Kosrow. “Wait until you’re in your car or in a safe place to text, best advice.”
The first half of the class was practical safety tips. The second half the students were paired up to learn how to fight back and get away from a potential attacker.
“I emphasize anything that works. Scratching, biting, kicking your attacker works. But I remind students that if your attacker wants something, give it up, throw it and run. Nothing is worth your life.”
Sophomore Destiny Morrow says she just wants to feel a bit more aware and confident of what to do just in case.
“I leave my classes by myself a lot at night. I have work and then Ill have to come back to class and come back to practice because I’m a cheerleader so to know something in case someone walks up to you, it’s an important thing to know,” she said.
“I’ve felt threatened before and I feel fear but luckily I’ve never had anything happen. Luckily no one has approached me but knowing what to do in case someone ever tries that is something I wanted to learn,” said Morrow. “It’s about remembering to stay calm, and try to get yourself through the situation and knowing that even if the person is bigger than you, you can have a fighting chance.”
“I think students want this. With things they hear on the news, and with campus safety in general, this is becoming more and more a topic students want to talk about and feel they have the resources they need to be equipped.” said Kosrow.
A sexual assault occurred on the Loyola Campus over the weekend and Chicago Police handed out whistles to joggers on Saturday after a woman was attacked in River North.
Triton College offers self defense classes each semester.