Self defense course teaches sexual assault awareness


Dylan Haviland – General Assignment Reporter 

For universities sexual assault has become a prominent issue, being brought to light by students and faculty. The battle against sexual assault has been reinforced by campus police and school programs, bringing in information that both physically and mentally assist a student.

The Rape Aggression Defense System, also known as RAD is a free course taught by certified university police in order to inform female students of basic self-defense and sexual assault awareness.  A series of two hour classes are taught over six weeks to ensure that female students have the proper knowledge of what to do at critical moment.

“If a guy is trying to attack a woman there are certain moves that we show them, how to get away and get help,” said Officer Sergio Nunez, one the certified RAD instructor.  “Not to fight them but defend themselves.”

The class covers the RAD basic physical defense, the Rape Aggression Defense System website describes this section of the course as, “the Cornerstone of R.A.D. Systems, this course has its foundations in education and awareness. The course includes lecture, discussion and self-defense techniques suitable for women of all ages and abilities.”

The officers use this portion of the program to offer hands on opportunities for the students to learn self-defense.  Which female students may use before getting away to an area of safety.

“We will demonstrate certain moves, certain strikes, punches, kicks.  We have these bags that we will kick on them and will show the students how you do this maneuver and why we do it,” said Nunez.  “We will go around to each student with a bag, and they kick it or punch it, so they can get the feel.  You can just punch in the all-day but we want them to feel that if you are hitting something that you are strong enough.”

University officers in the course also mention certain stances the students can take, to manage the angles aggressors may come from.

Keychain defense options can also be offered in the course, a vital tactic that according to the Rape Aggression Defense System website offers, “One of the only realistic and court-defensible impact weapons programs available for the general public.”

Aside from the physical aspect, sexual assault awareness is an important topic in RAD.

“We also make them aware of certain things, when driving and when walking to be aware of your surroundings, its not just we are going to show them moves,” said Nunez.  “We also teach them things to prevent, to be aware if you see somebody you are not sure of to keep your distance and walk in groups.”

Additional prevention methods against sexual assault mentioned were; staying in well-lit areas, being cautious about giving away a cell phone number and staying in a vehicle if a tire goes flat until law enforcement or trusted friend comes.

The combination of physical preparation and information can give female students important insight towards prevention.

“Every female if they could should take the course, it’s a good tool to have so you feel safe and if you have to defend yourself,” said Nunez.

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