WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Talking is the first step when it comes to understanding and staying out of dangerous situations, said Westborough mom Alisa Stone.
After Westborough's Lizzi Marriott was murdered last October, Stone took it into her own hands to organize a personal safety course for women. Tatnuck Booksellers in Westborough has donated its space for the two days.
"One three-hour program is not a remedy for this type of abuse and assault, but it's one three-hour program on top of what is hopefully going to be many conversations," she said, noting that she also has been mugged.
"Fortunately for me it was financially motivated. Not everyone is that lucky."
The course, which usually costs $95 per seat, has been discounted by SAM Training to $35. There are three courses each on Jan. 4 and 5, with 120 seats total.
Stone said she will be on the hook financially for any unsold seats.
"I'm totally out of my comfort zone here," she said.
All proceeds from the program will be donated to the Lizzi Marriott fund.
The SAM Training company, with offices in Connecticut and Florida, is run by Ellen Van Olden, who began the business in 2009 along with her father.
The program is intended to teach all aspects of personal safety for women, including how to think.
"It does give you the sense, as a parent, of feeling good, knowing your kid knows something she's never thought about," Van Olden said.
"Many times you hear people say 'I just froze, I didn't know what to do.' If you've never given it thought, or somebody hasn't shown you how to do things, you can't react."
The 120-seat capacity can be expanded for demand, which Stone said is the ideal scenario.
Several Westborough organizations, including the Rotary Club and In Your Shoes, have offered to donate seats. Stone said she is hoping for more sponsors over the coming weeks.
"I didn't want money to be a barrier. No one that is expressing financial need will be turned away," Stone said.
"I really do feel strongly that it's not just me as 'the mom.' I feel it's a community that's taken this on and I'm so appreciative."
The flyer for the event can be downloaded by clicking on the attached PDF.