By Kym Gable

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After a frightening encounter, she didn’t let fear shut her down. Instead, a local woman is fighting back and creating a space for other moms and daughters do the same.

It may not be your typical mother-daughter day out, but some families are aiming to change that.

Rachel Dayoub came up with the concept for Whispering Force after a close call at a local department store when she noticed two men following her.

“I don’t know. As a woman, I didn’t want to feel like a drama queen,” Dayoub said. “So I thought, just go home. This is not a big deal. They’re just being creepy. I didn’t think danger. You have to listen to your instincts and I did not.”

The stalkers were waiting for her in the parking lot. Thankfully, she got away, notified police and later took to social media.

“I said, ‘Who wants to take a self-defense class with me? What if I could get something together?’” she said. “Because I never want to feel the way I did or have my daughter feel this way.”

These mom and daughter duos are learning from the father and son team of Rising Sun Martial Arts.

“Our goal is to teach them very, very basic things that are going to save their lives. We’re not going to go wild and teach them jump flipping, spin kicks or anything like that. It’s going to be something that mothers and daughters, anybody at any age can learn and defend themselves,” said Ben Holser, of Rising Sun Martial Arts.

“We’ll talk often about what it means to be a lady in today’s world,” Amanda Mainarich, a Whispering Force student, said. “What it means to make sure we can take care of ourselves in any situation.”

“So I named it Whispering force because women are quiet, but we all have a story to tell, but we can be a force to recon with if we have the right education and techniques behind us,” said Dayoub.

Arming themselves with simple skills to stay protected and powerful too.

“I hope to feel very confident whenever I’m alone,” student Emma Mainarich said.