While statistically, men are more likely to be the victims of a violent crime, let’s not think that means women are somehow immune to violence. The kind of violence that impacts them is far more personal and, frankly, terrifying. Many of the men impacted by violence are, themselves, criminals while that doesn’t seem to hold true for women impacted by violence.

As such, it’s especially important for women to learn to protect themselves.

In Spokane, Washington, the sheriff’s department is looking to do what they can to help with that.

The hands-on course will be held on Saturday, February 8 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Training Center in Newman Lake.

Sign ups are open now. The classes have a limited amount of spots, and the Sheriff’s Office said they fill up fast. To register, send an email to [email protected] with the names and email addresses of all those attending.

The course will focus on deterrence, avoidance, and detection, which are all good things and is open for any female over the age of 14. That, too, is good.

However, I’m also going to point out that those aren’t enough.

Don’t get me wrong, all three of those things are vitally important and they’re things too many of us simply don’t do. The problem is that sometimes avoidance isn’t possible. Sometimes deterrence does nothing. Sometimes, detection is the least of your worries.

What do you do then?

That is, unfortunately, where many of these self-defense classes fall apart in my view. They provide, at best, a limited toolbox and far too many women complete them feeling like they’re now experts on keeping themselves safe. They’re not.

Instead, classes like these make a valid starting point, but all women (and yeah, the vast majority of men as well) need to also learn at least the fundamentals of combatives so they can fight back while unarmed. They also need to work to make sure they’re armed so that combatives are the least of their needs. Get a gun, carry a gun, and know how to put a bad guy down if you don’t have one for some reason.

Those, unfortunately, are often lacking in these classes. When they’re not, they’re rudimentary at best, which is fine as a starting point, but they only go so far.

My hope is that the Spokane Sheriff’s Office also tells these women to continue learning, that what they’re getting is a primer at best but that they should seek out new learning opportunities to further develop their skills.

I don’t want anyone to think I’m down on this training. I’m not. What I’m down on, though, is the false sense of security I’ve seen these extremely limited classes give women who then figure they’re good to go.

Instead, I’d rather see these classes become a gateway toward real understanding in personal defense. I want to see them buy guns, get carry permits, and learn how to take care of themselves in a more holistic and complete way.

Here’s hoping some of these women do.