BETTENDORF-- Studies show nearly one in four college women survive rape or attempted rape while at school. Local women are doing their part to fight back and change that statistic.
Slowly filtering in Bettendorf's Life Fitness Center, they're unaware of what's coming next. It's time for these soon to be college students to learn a potentially life saving lesson before heading to class.
Meet Abigail Malone. In just a few days, she will be a freshman at the University of Northern Iowa.
"I love working with kids, but I don't want to be a teacher. So we'll see where that goes," says Malone.
But before she goes, she's learning to defend herself.
Meet self defense expert Nancy Stockwell.
"It's preparing them for that whole next step in life where they're on their own," says Stockwell.
She's been certified to teach self defense for more than a year now. Her passion is teaching women things like breaking a choke hold and what to do if someone threatening approaches.
In just the past few years, Stockwell has seen more women step up to protect themselves.
"I think that there is a lot more awareness in society right now about rape culture, sexual assault on campus. We can discuss it, find solutions to it, and empower women," says Stockwell.
"I think it's a really important thing to learn how to defend yourself especially going off to college. And women are victimized, so it's important for me to have a little idea of what to do if something were to happen," says Malone.
Meet this girl who is ready, ready to take that next step in life no matter what comes next.
If you or anyone you know is in crisis and needs help, Family Resources in the Quad Cities has 24/7 hotline numbers you can call for free, confidential service.