GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) — With crime rates across the country rising, people are getting more and more concerned with their safety. 

About two dozen women gathered in Garner on Saturday morning to learn from police officers how to take their safety into their own hands. 

They were of different ages and from different backgrounds, but they all had the same goal: to learn how to keep themselves safe.

“So I can be better prepared in case someone comes at me,” explained Mary Kraft, who attended the class.

(Hayley Fixler/CBS 17)

Officers taught techniques and tactics to help these women know how to protect themselves, long enough to get away from an attacker.

It’s something Kraft believes she needed.

“You can’t go to the grocery store or church or school… you can’t go anywhere anymore without looking over your shoulder,” she explained. “You have to always wonder what’s going on, who’s around you, who’s out there and what could possibly happen. Hopefully nothing, but you never know.”

Detective Brittany Nestor helped organize the class.

She said the interest was overwhelming.

Within 24 hours of the announcement of this session, they had more than 55 women sign up.

The department had to close registration and add additional classes. 

“I think people are scared,” said Nestor. “I asked how many of you feel safe at home.. and you’d be surprised how many said, ‘I’m kind of scared to be home alone.'”

They spent the day learning critical defense movements, using a mix of different martial arts techniques.

“A little bit of ground defense, for if someone were to get on top of you,” said Nestor. “As a smaller female, I feel very capable in techniques to get a larger person off of me.”

But the day was also spent helping these women realize they are capable, and they don’t have to be a victim. 

“I’m empowered. To take care of myself and anybody that’s with me,” said Kraft. “I will be more self-aware and be better able to protect and defend myself.”

Nestor hopes she can organize more classes and host them more frequently in the future.