NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Every nine seconds a woman is attacked in this country — but now, one of these victims is fighting back and teaching others to protect themselves with a weapon they may actually be wearing.

As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reported, it turns out that high heels aren’t just for fashion anymore.

“You actually grab the body of the shoe so that the heel is protruding to the side,” explained Avital Zeisler.

Zeisler is the creator of a new self defense course called the “Soteria Method.”

“Soteria is the goddess of safety,” Zeisler said.

Stilettos, platforms and pumps can make effective weapons if you know how to use them.

The three pronged approach teaches women to first — be more aware of their surroundings.

“If you can put your back to a surface, put your back to a surface,” Zeisler instructed, “so that no one can come up behind you.”

Next, she says to stay calm and focused in the event of an attack.

“So that on the street, when their mind is trying to compose and create a reaction, it can go into its history and think that it actually reacted to some degree,” Zeisler said.

And perhaps most importantly, the self-defense course shows women how to use what’s on their person — like a high heel — to overpower an attacker.

It’s all part of a growing trend of “ready to wear self defense” classes.

“We used to call it weapons of opportunity, anything that you have in your hand,” said former NYPD detective Joe Giacalone.

Giacalone said that knowing how to react during an attack can mean the difference between life and death.

“You’re just to stun them so you can run away,” he explained.

You also want to stop the person in their tracks, so you can make a run for it — even in heels.

“I never thought about it before, but it’s something that I’m definitely going to give a try when I get home,” said one of the women in the class.

“It will definitely make me think twice about what kind of heel I’m buying, because I guess if you can take off your heels faster,” another said.

The Soteria Method has many devotees — from all walks of life, including Hollywood actresses and corporate executives.

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