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Ulster County women learn self-defense skills

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Albany/HV: Ulster County women take self-defense workshop
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Women don't need to be victims. That's according to self-defense coach Keith Bennett. His free workshop at the Ulster County Sheriff's Office was so popular; he decided to hold a second one. Our Eva McKend takes us there.

KINGSTON, N.Y. - When approached by an assailant, you have just three seconds to get away. According to self-defense instructor Keith Bennett, it's doable and it can be as easy as knowing how to hold your key.

"Taking a key to somebody's cheek and slashing it real quick, it's going to make them grab their cheek, put their head down, while you can run," said Bennett who runs his own karate school in Kingston.

Bennett called the free women's self defense classes he offers at the Ulster County Sheriff's office a critical public service. He watched his own family struggle with domestic violence and doesn't like to see anybody become a victim.

"We just want them to be able to get away. This isn't about fighting somebody. It's about getting away," said Bennett.

The Ulster County Sheriff's Office said by continuing to offer classes that show women how to protect themselves, it makes the greater community safer.

"The sheriff's office has a commitment to community safety and by training people to be prepared for those situations, that no one wants to find themselves in, is our goal," said Ulster County Undersheriff Frank P. Faluotico Jr.

For a mother who wants her daughter to feel safe, some basic self-defense skills can go a long way.

"In this day and age, we've seen a lot of different things happen to young women and she's my next generation. I want to see her be able to protect herself," said Debra Deger.

"It makes me feel like I don't really have to worry about what someone is going to do to me," said her daughter Sandra.

Bennett said he plans to regularly hold these classes in partnership with the sheriff's office.

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