Area residents get proactive since recent abduction attempt stories

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A program aimed at arming possible targets of abductions or assault with the latest self defense methods wrapped up Sunday at LSU. Women like Vanessa Richard learned from instructors as part of Rape Aggressors Defense or RAD.

"Knowing how to defend myself is really empowering and really boosted my confidence and knowing what to do if I was put in the situation," said Richard.

The abduction attempt reported Thursday at LSU was determined by police to be untrue but others outside of the campus community are still taking steps to make sure people are prepared for the worst case scenario.

"Being an attempted kidnapping victim myself it's my greatest fear," said Karla Bowlin.

Bowlin and her cousin Ashley Hadden live in Walker and are trying to gain support for an initiative called Safety Against Child Abductions. The pair created a Facebook page and has already scheduled a gathering with some help from local police officers designed at emphasizing awareness.

"Maybe it can be the step before amber alert where we teach parents mostly how to teach their children to be safer and more knowledgeable about their surroundings and exactly how dangerous today's society is," said Bowlin.

The proactive approach is shared by people like Richard, who say it shouldn't take a publicized attack or incident in the news to get people to take action.

"Something  I always really wanted to do and just now getting the opportunity but that always is a reminder to kind of put the bug in my ear to take the class and to know what to do if I was ever put in a situation," said Richard.

The first meeting for the Walker Safety Against Child Abductions is scheduled for March 8.

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