Free self-defense class offered after two reports of rape in the Northland

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two Northland women have reported violent rapes within three miles of each other in the last three weeks.

Sunday night, a woman said she was at her apartment complex near Barry Road and Highway 169 when she went out to grab something from her roommate's car.

She was only gone for a few minutes and left her apartment door unlocked.

When she got back, a man with a knife was waiting for her in her kitchen.

The woman told police the man grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth with a gloved hand so she could not scream.

She said the man blindfolded her, tied her hands behind her back and raped her.

Three miles south near 68th Street and Highway 169, a woman told police she was confronted in her apartment complex hallway by man with a gun March 8.

She said the main took her to a first floor patio where the man choked her until she passed out. She told police that when she woke up she was being assaulted.

Vien Huynh lives in the apartment complex where the March 8 incident was reported. She says the recent attacks have her considering taking a self-defense class.

"One of the most important things that women can do is make themselves stronger and less of a vulnerable person," Huynh said.

In the same neighborhood, women at Premier Martial Arts off Vivion Road are doing just that.

Chief instructor Eric Siley said he focuses on three topics: knowledge, endurance and confidence. He said it doesn't take long to learn a few steps that could save a life.

"The training is fun. It's not fun to think about those things happening in our community. It's terrible," Siley said. "But this is an empowering thing, and so I encourage everyone."

Siley is hosting a free clinic this Saturday. Call 816-746-5728 for more information.

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