Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, women are getting free lessons in self-defense after a string of purse snatches in the area have prompted the need for added ways to protect their personal safety, according to NBC affiliate, WMBF.
Former law enforcement officer Nelson Melendez runs a free once-a-month self-defense clinic for area women to learn proper ways to defend themselves against an attack.
The need for learning self-defense is becoming more real as a woman reported a purse snatching just days before one of the classes, she was knocked down as the suspect stole her belongings.
"It's probably the most important hour you can spend because it might save your life," said Myrtle Beach resident Mary Beth Gardiner, who attends the self defense seminars.
Through the easy-to-learn methods, Melendez hopes he can help empower women to fight back should they be involved in a similar situation.
Purse snatching is a real problem throughout many major cities in the U.S. Keeping your belongings close to your body and staying off cell phones or listening to music are other ways to prevent an attack, as when you're distracted you can become an easier target. Purchasing pepper spray to carry while you walk is another option to guard yourself should a situation arise.