City holds program after woman allegedly raped

Published 11:21 am Saturday, January 19, 2013

Instructor Anthony Barnes puts his student Chris Lewis into a wrist lock while explaining the importance of acting quickly if being assaulted. -- Andrew Faison | Tidewater News


FRANKLIN—Women learned a little about protecting themselves during a self-defense demonstration hosted by the Franklin Department of Parks & Recreation on Wednesday

“After what happened a few weeks ago, we knew we had to do something,” said Waverly Lawrence, a city employee who oversaw the program for Parks & Recreation.

Lawrence was referring to the alleged rape of a 55-year-old Franklin woman while walking home along Gardener Street at 2 a.m. from a New Year’s Eve church service.

People who attended the program at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center wanted to learn to defend themselves against attackers in several different situations.

“It was very interesting and very enlightening,” said Franklin resident Audrey Scott. “It is definitely something I would be interested in taking classes in the future to learn a bit more.”

Local martial arts instructor Anthony Barnes provided the training.

“People in Franklin need more awareness on self-defense techniques, especially women,” said Barnes, a fifth-degree black belt. “I say that because what happened to the woman walking home on New Year’s was horrible.”

Barnes feels people need to be more proactive in defending themselves.

“There are people in the area that can teach self-defense,” he said. “People don’t have to wait for something bad to happen.”