Hundreds of Sex Offenders in Abilene: Is Your Family Protected?

Abilene, Texas (KRBC)-Rapists. Criminals. Creeps. Call them what you want but one could be living near you.

"They could be offending and be your next door neighbor. Who knows," said APD detective Stacey Cisneros.

In 2016, there were 69 reported forcible rape cases. That's compared to the 90 cases reported in 2014.
And those statistics represent just the cases where the victims came forward.

391. That's the number of registered sex offenders in Abilene....

"Sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child, " said Cisneros.

There are nearly 400 offenders who the Abilene Police Department keeps tabs on.

"We keep track of them, make sure they're living where they say they're living, take basic information like where they work at, what type of vehicles they drive, " said Cisneros.

But the department doesn't work alone. Detectives have close ties with the Department of Public Safety
and parole and probation officers. This helps them have the most up to date information about sex offenders locations, so you can use an online database to know who's living in your neighborhood.

"That will let you know where the current sex offenders are. I mean there' s people out there that just haven't been caught yet," said Cisneros.

Which brings us to the hundreds of unknown threats that could be next door, at church or teaching at your child's school.

"Be vigilant about, you know, your surroundings , make sure you know where your kids are at, know who they're with," said Cisneros.

There are bad guys in Abilene but there are ways to protect yourself.

"One in three ladies in their lifetime is going to be attacked in some way, form or fashion," said Tae Kwon Do instructor Chip Townsend.

For nearly a decade, Chip Townsend, a husband and a father, has been teaching self defense..

"It all spurred whenever i caught a news kind of clip  of a young lady who had gotten grabbed at a Walmart in East Texas and a couple of days later they found her body and  it actually rocked me because I'm thinking okay I've got a wife, I've got two daughters and we need to be able to do something," said Townsend.

And Townsend says while the declining local numbers of sexual assault may be comforting to some, it's still a nationwide issue.

"The reality is assaults and attacks and all of these things,bullying, none of that's ever going to leave.
We're going to have to teach people how to deal with it," said Townsend.

So, Chip Townsend has made it his mission to  teach women how to identify a threat and protect themselves from becoming a victim..

"Once you've covered all of the prevention it's time to take action," said Townsend.

The first lesson: Be assertive in the face of danger.

 Then: Show the attacker you will take action.

"Hitting bags and knocking bags down and all kinds of things to kind of simulate what I really need to do if I needed to take action in a bad situation," said Townsend.

Moves he says could save dozens from the off-radar..sexual predators that could be hiding near you...

Free self defense classes are taught every month on the third Thursday. The next class will be May 18th.


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