BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office hosted Equalizer, a women’s self-defense class to educate women on protecting themselves.

The Equalizer Women’s self-defense class started on March 14 and will be offered on March 16, 21 and 23. All four classes will start from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., a total of 16 hours for women 13 years or older.

Due to woman’s privacy, the sheriff’s office would not allow media in the classroom.

Central resident Stacie Thibodeaux, who signed herself and two other friends up for the class, said they want a better understanding of how to look out for their surroundings.

“We all do a lot together,” said Thibodeaux. “And it’s at times at night we’re alone, and I just thought you never know.”

Another participant, Ladeta Crawly, believes a crime has grown throughout the parish within the last few years. Crawly said with this class will teach her the tools she needs to help protect herself.

“Crime has grown nationally and in our parish,” said Crawly. “So anytime any woman that can be prepared, it’s a good thing to do.”

One of the self-defense instructors, Sergeant Jennifer Gonzalez, said these tools will provide women in the parish with a new skill set.

“You rather be prepared, rather have all of the tools and not need them, than not have any of the tools when you really need them,” said Gonzalez.

EBRSO officials said they wanted to offer classes to young girls in the capital area in case something happens off school grounds.

“Oh, this is perfect for young college students, walking around campus,” said Gonzalez. “And even for younger girls wanting to get on or off the school bus.”

All four self-defense classes will be held at the EBRSO Training Center, located at 2829 Lt. General Benjamin Davis Dr. in Baton Rouge.