A Fort Worth woman is hosting free seminars that teach women how to avoid danger and defend themselves if necessary.
Elsie Allen, a 60-year-old theology student and former police officer runs self-defense workshops and gun-safety seminars to help women of all ages and backgrounds lead safe and secure lives.
"It seems like every time I turn around, there's something horrendous happening to a woman or a child, especially a girl," she said.
Allen is the founder of Sisters S.O.S, an organization dedicated to helping keep women safe. She calls it a ministry.
"Sisters SOS is a ministry, it's an outreach ministry to women about their personal safety," Allen said. "That's exactly what it is, and SOS stands for Supernaturally Overcoming Situations."
Allen was a Fort Worth police officer for seven years, beginning in the late 1970s. Even after moving on to other careers, she's always believed women should do more to protect themselves, she said.
"Women always want to network their businesses and things like that, but at the same time, they didn't talk about their safety,"she said.
Many of Allen's events are free, "because I want every female to have an opportunity with her girlfriends, her grandchildren, her neighbors, whoever it is, I want them to be able to come and attend this without having any kind of excuse," she said.
"I don't lecture," Allen said. "It is a workshop; we participate. That's why men are not allowed in my seminars, because women want to be able to ask whatever -- we do straight talk."
Hair stylist Kesha Walker, who sometimes works late at her Fort Worth salon, said she gets nervous about exiting the building alone.
"You just never know," she said. "Coming out of the doors late at night sometimes, you kind of worry a little bit."
But Walker attended a gun-safety seminar led by Allen and left feeling encouraged that she could defend herself.
"The class was really, really awesome," she said. "I would recommend everyone to go out and go to a class."
Two Sisters SOS events are coming up in Dallas and Fort Worth. The Keep It Simple Safety (K.I.S.S.) seminars provides practical information and training to live a safe and secure life. The two-hour sessions teach how to avoid danger, how to defend yourself if necessary and how to survive unsafe situations.
Oct. 31 at 9 a.m.
Botanic Gardens Rose Room
3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
Fort Worth, Texas 76107