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Damsels in Defense: lessons for being prepared in case you're attacked

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RICHLAND, WA - Earlier this week we brought you several alarming stories about home invasions and women being attacked. These unfortunately common occurrences have encouraged one woman to become the director of Damsels in Defense, a sales company that has made it their mission to educate women on how they can protect themselves in these dangerous situations.

Stun guns, pepper spray and other weapons were on the menu today. Karen Johnson decided to contact the NBC Right Now team after a rash of attacks on elderly women this week in the Tri-Cities. Her goal: to prepare women for these situations.

"I've lived here my whole life, and yeah, in appearance it's a very safe community and for the most part it is," Johnson said, "but crime is here and it's getting more prevalent and we don't want any women to be attacked, or anyone for that matter."

An attack can happen in less than 21 seconds. So how can you be prepared and proactive? Karen told us your best bet is to keep weapons or even everyday items around your house so they are easily accessible.

"So have something in each room that you can grab," said Johnson. "Whether it's our tools, a ball point pen, a lamp."

Karen told us a staggering statistic that could possibly save your life: situation awareness is 90% of the battle.

"Walk with your head high, your shoulders back, look people in the eye, put your cell phones away," said Johnson. "Know what is around you."

Karen said she has family members and friends who have been victims of violence, so she wants to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else.

"It's just real close to my heart," said Johnson. "It's just so simple. And I just want people to know it's very simple. And it doesn't take much, and you can survive."

If you'd like to learn more about Damsels in Defense, you can contact Karen Johnson at 509-713-7172 or e-mail her at tcdamsels@gmail.com. The class is free and if you want to take it a step further, she can refer you to a self-defense class.