GREENBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The town of Greenburgh is a relatively safe suburb.

But 19-year-old college freshman Emily Salwen wants to make it even safer.

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For her summer internship with the town, Salwen is putting together a free self-defense course, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

Years ago, someone kidnapped and killed Salwen’s uncle’s girlfriend.

“Growing up hearing that, I don’t want to be a victim like that,” she said. “I want to be able to defend myself.”

When Salwen was 13, her father suggested she try martial arts.

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Salwen learned Krav Maga and Brazilian jiu jitsu.

“I think that martial arts really inspires people to be confident, and in like the context of bullying, which is so much more prevalent in our town, if people learn to defend themselves, they can stand up for themselves,” Salwen said.

As part of the course, law enforcement officers and other specialists will offer safety tips.

Greenburgh police Chief Chris McNerney points to the problem of rape on college campuses and bullying in schools, and says Salwen could really help empower some young people.

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“We have a summer youth camp. It may be a good time to expose some of our young campers to the martial arts self-defense,” he said.