Seminar focuses on personal security for teens and women

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 25, 2015

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Young women can take the reins when it comes to staying safe and acting quickly if they find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation.

An upcoming seminar, “Take Charge of Your Personal Security: A Seminar for Teens and Women,” aims to arm women with the information and tools they need to do just that.

The program will be held from 2-5 p.m. March 1 at Assumption School Gym, 22150 Marter, in St. Clair Shores.

“It is in memory of Paige,” Paige Stalker’s grandfather, Dave Lawrence, said in an email about the seminar. “All donations received at the door will go to a scholarship in Paige’s name for a girl volunteer at a hospital that is interested in medicine.”

Stalker, a University Liggett student who wanted to be a doctor, was killed when an armed assailant fired at a vehicle that she and her friends were in last December.

The program is sponsored by ShorePointe Nursing Center, Beaumont Grosse Pointe and Grosse Pointe South Girls Lacrosse.

Seminar organizer Bonnie Mellos said she wanted to give her teenage daughters the information they needed to stay safe as they head off to college.

“Just after starting the planning, the awful incident and murder of Paige Stalker happened, and I thought it would be so nice to look for sponsors to cover the speaker fees,” Mellos said in an email. “This would allow us to use the money collected at the event to honor Paige’s memory in the form of a scholarship at Beaumont Grosse Pointe.”

The program will teach attendees skills to help them during high-stress situations. They will learn ways to avoid putting themselves into potentially dangerous situations, whether they are at work or school, running errands or traveling. 

They’ll also learn easy-to-remember defensive techniques for common attacks, including chokes and gun and knife situations.

Author and security professional Laura Clark will be the workshop leader and speaker during the event.

Clark is the owner of Surveillance Detection Consultants LLC, and she has been a speaker for various groups across the country. She uses various martial arts techniques to provide training that can be remembered if someone finds that they cannot avoid an attack.

“In any attack, you have very little time; every nanosecond counts,” she said.

The program will include both a talk and a demonstration.

Clark helps women to stay safe through awareness to prevent being in a situation where they have to defend themselves during an attack.

“You know what to look for,” she said. “You know what to avoid.

“I’ve had several people come back to me and say it just changed the way they move around in their lives,” she said.  “They don’t feel as afraid.”

If, however, they do find themselves in a situation where they have to defend themselves, Clark arms them with defensive techniques that can be applied in a number of different situations.

“There are a lot of different types of attacks,” she said.

Clark also will speak about known and unknown attackers, since women may face dangerous situations like date rape.

To RSVP for the program, call (586) 772-4477. There is a minimum $5 donation, which will benefit the Paige Stalker Scholarship Fund.  For more information on the scholarship, email betsy.schulte@beaumont.edu.

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