MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - News of a missing person can impact how safe a community feels but there are resources available that will increase the sense of security.
"A lot of those aren't random, it's gonna be by somebody you know, whether that be a family member, acquaintance, a friend, a lot of these crimes don't happen just randomly," says Myrtle Beach Police Captain David Knipes.
In fact, according to a U.S. Justice Department study, two-thirds of violent attacks against women are committed by someone the woman knows.
You don't need to have a black belt to be able to defend yourself, defense starts with being mindful and aware of your surroundings.
"Life is a dynamic situation, we never know what's going to happen from one moment to the next but if you can try to avoid situations," says Myrtle Beach Martial Arts owner Jim Kiser. "You're going to have a higher percentage of nothing happening to you and that's really what self defense is."
Self defense can be as simple as taking time to think about your actions. Park your car in well lit places and change your routine, so nobody catches onto what you do during day-to-day events.
Law enforcement officials say to always expect the unexpected.
"Be observant, you know when you're walking to your car, keep your car keys in your hand, your cell phone in your hand. You can take self defense classes," says Myrtle Beach Police Captain David Knipes.
Self defense classes will help you learn the common ways of attack, such as a grab of the wrist. They will train you to use quick reflexes, but keep in mind all situations are different.
"If someone pulls a weapon on you, the best thing to do is comply with that person and get away from them and create space and make it harder for them to get to you with the weapon," says Kiser.
Make use of the tools you already have. Self defense experts say you can keep your key between your fingers when walking to your car to be prepared for any attack. The best tool for you is your cell phone. Keep it with you and let people know where you are going and when you make it there.
For every day defense, just take time to put yourself in safe situations.
Myrtle Beach Martial Arts says recent news of missing persons has sparked their attention. On February 8, at 11:00 a.m., they will be holding a free women's self defense seminar, open to the public. They encourage teenagers to come as well.