Around Pearl River, LA, a rash of crimes targeting females, from an attempted kidnapping in Hammond to a man breaking into women’s homes to lay in bed with them in New Orleans, are sending droves of women to their local sheriff’s office.


To take part in the free Lady Beware Self-Defense Class at the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office in Covington, Louisiana.

“They taught us to hold keys like that should we ever need to protect ourselves,” said recent class attendee Anna Provost, demonstrating an aggressive position. “I hold the one so should somebody come up to me, I can hopefully do something.”

“No one can be too careful, too protective of themselves,” she said, “I want to be able to defend myself should the need arise, which I hope it never does.”

But Anna’s not the only one eager to learn how to protect herself in St. Tammany Parish. The Sheriff’s office said their fall classes were maxed out by more than a hundred registrants in one day!

“It’s not something to just pin somebody down, we want to teach you to cause enough pain to where you can get away,” said instructor Lt. Gary Ranatza with the Sheriff’s Office, “We’ll teach things like their fingernails… if someone gets a hold of them, they can actually go into their eyes.”

“You have to have this vicious streak when you’re attacked,” he said, “You have to dig deep to get out of it and just fight.”