FFIt’s late on a weekday night. You’ve gotten stuck at the office trying to finish up that big project. As you leave the building, you realize that you are the only person there. The parking lot is empty except for your car. Until that moment, you never realized how dark the parking lot was or how many bushes are situated around it. As you walk quickly, you hear a noise … panic starts to rise. You see a man standing between you and the safety of your vehicle-what do you do?

That’s a scenario that women all across America may face at some time or another. It might not just be you by yourself. It might be you and your small child or you and your teenaged daughter. Knowing how to act when faced with danger is important. If you don’t have a plan before you come face to face with it, you probably are going to freeze and then the unimaginable can happen.

Candy Sugarman, a California native who now calls Fayetteville home, doesn’t want any woman to find herself  in that position. To that end, Sugarman has organized Feminine and Fierce: A Self-Protection & Defense event on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the AIT Building at 421 Maiden Lane in Downtown Fayetteville. 

Surgarman, who is also a member of the Gun Powder Gals, an area shooting organization for women, realized that many women may not feel comfortable with guns and may want another alternative for self-defense. That idea had Sugarman looking for a way to educate and inform women on how they can protect themselves.

“For the last several months I’ve been working on putting this event together,” said Sugarman. “A lot of women don’t want guns or they can’t take them the places they have to go like to Fort Bragg. So there has to be a means to teach women how to defend themselves so they are not wandering around defenseless.”

Sugarman becomes passionate when she talks about the need for women to be able to defend themselves. She sees too many women who, by lack of information, make themselves victims. The event is not going to focus only on the physical means women can defend themselves, but also the common sense steps they can take to ensure their own safety.

“Something as simple as looking under your car before you walk up to it is a big deal,” said Sugarman. “I had a friend tell me she refused to do that because she refused to spend her life being afraid.”

Sugarman believes that recognizing that the world is a dangerous place and taking common sense steps to protect yourself is not living in fear, rather it is taking control of the situation. And that’s what she hopes to achieve with the upcoming event. She wants to give women common sense ways to keep themselves from becoming a victim.

She noted that there is no one size fits every situation response. One solution is not very often the answer to a problem. Women need multiple methods of self-protection and defense, such as martial arts or physical self-defense, non-lethal forms of defense such as knuckles and stun guns, firearms training, information about situational awareness, home defense and even identity theft.  That really gave root to the idea of the upcoming event that brings together various methods of self-protection, defense, situational awareness and home protection. To do that, she has pulled together a number of community resources. On tap to present at the event are:

North Carolina Concealed Carry Firearms Group who will discuss using firearms to protect and defend your home

The Range Complex discussing the importance of training and practice using a firearm for defense

Damsel in Defense by Misty (Independent Damsel Pro) who will share non-lethal ways of self-protection (stun guns, etc.)

Jackie Carter of Legal Shield who will talk about ways to protect yourself from identity theft. 

Personal Defense Concepts are covered through the Refuse to Be A Victim program that is sponsored by the NRA.

Gill Security Systems Inc will cover securing your home via cameras and alarm systems.

Academy of Christian Martial Arts will teach women that their body is their weapon by teaching women what they can do to get away or protect themselves from an attacker

The Fayetteville Police department will be on hand to talk about the current crimes that are committed against women and girls.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/feminine-fierce-a-self-protection-defense-event-tickets-26523604816Fe. Individual ticket are $67 and groups with more than 20 members can purchase tickets for $58. 

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