There have been 435 rapes reported to Cleveland Police so far this year. Last year, there were a total of 538 reported rapes.

The incidents, and the fear of being attacked, have prompted Cleveland-area residents to learn how to fight back.

“This is practical information regardless of where you live, whether you’re in the safest suburb or the intercity,” said Sam Tischler, a Lakewood resident.

Tischler, along with 40 other Cleveland-area residents, participated in a self-defense class hosted by the Cleveland Clinic and taught by officers from Cleveland Police and Cleveland Clinic Police as well as instructors from the North Coast Defense Academy.

Tischler said she decided to enroll in the class, which was offered at Lutheran Hospital, after police said a rape occurred outside of her Lakewood apartment in September.

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