West Chester Police Officers Phil Chaney and Michelle Berling lead a self-defense class Monday, May 12, 2014, at Lakota East High School. NICK DAGGY / STAFF

West Chester police want to help high school senior girls protect themselves. Here’s how.

College SAFE self-defense classes, offered by the West Chester Police Department in conjunction with the Lakota Schools, is a 10-hour program for senior girls in high school.

SAFE, an acronym for Self-defense Awareness Fundamental Education, was created to help prepare young women heading out on their own for the first time. The sessions include guided discussion on topics women could encounter in their everyday lives, with the majority of time spent in rigorous self-defense training. There is a focus on rape prevention and awareness, personal protection and self-awareness.

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The 10-hour program is free and will be offered April 9-13 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Participants must be able to attend all five days for which they register. The class will be offered at Lakota East High School and Lakota West High School in the wrestling room. Senior girls are welcome to attend either training that works best with their schedule.

Spots are limited. This is a rigorous course so wear athletic attire and bring a drink.

For more information or to register, go to www.lakotaonline.com.

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