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High School Senior In Fairfax Organizes Self-Defense Class For Fellow Students

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By Jonathan Wilson

In the wake of several incidents of violence against women on college campuses in Virginia in the past year, a high school senior in Fairfax County is making sure she and her classmates are prepared to protect themselves.

A group of 30 young women from Westfield High School are learning how to fend off an attacker. They're taking cues from a self-defense instructor from the Fairfax County Police Department, but they wouldn't be here without the initiative of a fellow student: graduating senior Amanda D'Urso.

Earlier this Spring D'Urso got into her dream school, University of Virginia, and soon asked her school resource officer here at Westfield to set up a self-defense seminar for classmates heading off to college.

When she heard about the murder of UVA lacrosse player Yeardley Love, it just reinforced her desire to learn how to learn self-defense techniques.

"Girls should feel like they have a tool with them to do what they can to survive," says D'Urso.

Instructor Beth Myers uses "stun and run" as her motto, she says the goal isn't to win a street fight, it's to get away.

Lou Munoz, the school resource officer at Westfield, says he hopes to repeat the class for next year's seniors.

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