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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Cleveland triple kidnapping case is a somber reminder of how important it is be able to defend yourself against an attacker.

Some residents intheMidlandsaren't only talking about the kidnappings, they're taking active steps to make sure they are never in a similar situation.

In the Cleveland case, the three women thatwere kidnapped weren't small children; the oldest victim was 20 when she was abducted.

Officer Lance Adams with the Columbia Police Department says since the story broke, the department has taken many phone calls from adults asking about self-defense classes.

"It's just not hitting our young populations," explained Adams. "Because of the age of the victims people are not just thinking, you've got little Janey walking home from school, and you've got the man who pulls up in a long black car who's offering Janey some candy and snatching her in."

Adams, along with Columbia Police Investigator B. Fields, teaches free self-defense classes, particularly to women and children.

"What criminals are looking at," said Adams, "they look for a quick target of opportunity. I always tell women to look confident, to be confident. Because a lot of times an attacker will not attack someone who is aware, that knows about their surroundings."

Along with offering tips on how to make sure a person is not a victim, they also teach what to do should a person find themselves being attacked.

During physical demonstrations Adams take part playing the role of attacker.

"Women feel more empowered when they feel they can have a 6'3" 315 poundman grimacing in pain and flipping me over!"

It's an unfortunate fact about Adams' career but he's met a lot of victims and has advice for everyone about intuition.

"You need to use that 6th sense where if you see something that's not right, nine times out of ten... it's not right."

These classes are free at the Columbia Police Department. To register, call the department at (803) 545-3500. Several other agencies also offer free self-defense classes. Contact your local law enforcement agency to find out how to register you or your kids.

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