The University Police Department’s Office of Community Education offers various courses to students with topics ranging from contemporary drugs to stalking. The presentations look at awareness, prevention and increasing one’s overall safety. The Rape Aggression Defense classes offered have an additional physical component.
“RAD, Rape Aggression Defense, at its basic is a two-day course of instruction wherein students will be taught the fundamentals to stop aggressive action taken towards them and effect an escape,” said Uniform Patrol Officer Sergeant William Smith.
The classes are taught by certified RAD instructors, and attendees receive a manual detailing what they learned to look back on in the future.
“The class is a wonderful system that can instill confidence in ladies who may have never had any self-defense training or been involved in any kind of physical encounter,” said Smith.
Smith was eager to get involved with RAD classes under the instruction of UPD Police Lieutenant Patrick Gipson.
“My lieutenant, Patrick Gipson, was the previous RAD instructor for the Southeastern Police Department,” said Smith. “He asked if I would like to be trained as an instructor, and I jumped at the opportunity.”
The classes are $25 for non-student guests but free to university students. Each student is allowed one guest.
“As a police officer, I firmly believe everyone benefits from learning at least the basics of self-defense,” said Smith. “The RAD system is easy to learn and can be taught to ladies of all ages, from adolescence to senior citizens.”
The classes are a 12-hour course usually held on a consecutive Saturday and Sunday.
“In addition to basic self-defense techniques, the class covers establishing a defensive mindset and improving your situational awareness, actions one can take when traveling from location to location, to further secure your dwelling as well as laws pertaining to self-defense,” said Smith.
The most recent RAD class was held on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25. Smith is hoping to do another in the Fall 2018 semester.
“I try to hold the class at least once per semester,” said Smith. “At the current time, I plan to hold another class in the fall. As my work schedule is not set in stone, the dates are to be determined.”
Smith has witnessed a change in the attitude of ladies who have taken the class and believes it to be beneficial to all.
“I hope they will be more confident in their own safety as well as being more aware of their surroundings to better identify possible dangers around them,” said Smith. “It’s an easy course of instruction. Everyone who takes it can benefit from it, and I’ve personally seen many ladies come away with a sense of confidence from learning to tap into power they may not have realized they had.”