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Local entrepreneur, police department raise awareness about personal safety

Posted at 6:26 PM, Feb 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-21 18:26:05-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) — Personal safety is something that hits close to home for Brianna Rogers.

"As a sexual assault victim, myself, I made it a point to make sure no one gets sexually assaulted like I was,” said Rogers, founder of BriSafe.

After her traumatic experience, Rogers founded BriSafe, a street-legal self-defense accessory company. The products, like tasers, are designed to look like everyday items.

One of the simplest items she offers is pepper spray.

Now, she is collecting donations of spray to give out to college students free of charge.

Justine Spells, the owner of Railroad Square Craft House, teamed up with Rogers for the Spray for Safety donation drive geared at protecting students.

"You're most vulnerable at those ages and it's the first time you're out on your own really in life so being safe and having stuff to protect yourself is really vital and important,” Spells said.

Rogers isn't the only one wanting to protect others in the community. For years, the Tallahassee Police Department has been offering free self-defense classes for women ages 12 and up through their Rape Aggression Defense program also known as R.A.D.

"We teach of course self-defense because you're always going to have those tools,” said Tallahassee Police Department Lieutenant Maria Mercurio. “You're never going to forget your fists, your brains, your feet and legs."

Along with personal safety products and self-defense training, Rogers said there is one extra thing you can do to make sure you're safe. "I am going to sound like a grandma saying this, but always use the buddy system,” Rogers said. “You never know if somebody is going to come up behind you, like your friend could help you with that."