University Police to host women’s self-defense class

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The University Police Department is organizing a Rape Aggression Defense program this weekend. The program hopes to empower women and offers them self-defense tactics and techniques.

Sergeant William Smith, instructor of RAD tells how students can register for the classes. 

“It’s gonna be coming up next weekend,” said Smith. “Now, what I did was I put out fliers on social media through the university through the police department. All that’s required for a currently enrolled student was to give me their name, WNumber and contact phone number in an email at [email protected] Send me that information and sign for the class.” 

However, the classes for this week have filled up, but Smith has created a solution for the students affected. 

“Unfortunately, the coming up class is at capacity,” said Smith. “What I’ve told everyone who wants to come is that since I’ve had your info, you go to the top of the list for the next class. The more names I get coming in, the more I keep compiling to the roster. I like to be able to do this as often as I can. Even though the class is at capacity, send me an email your name will get added to the list.”

RAD provides women attending the class with awareness, prevention techniques, risk reduction and avoidance and hands-on defense training. RAD is the country’s largest and fastest growing self-defense program for women and children with over 4,000 certified instructors and over 150,000 participants trained.   Smith explains the objectives behind creating this course. 

“It’s a twofold thing,” said Smith. “We promote situational awareness for ladies on campus, things they can do to make them safer at campus, at home or at where they work. Social media, that’s one of the aspects we go over. Things we can do to change their mind sets to be better prepared for what might happen. In the physical aspect, you go on the RAD website, and it’s a very basic self-defense program. It’s basically designed to help if someone is assaulting them or any kind of physical situation. It teaches them to disengage from the situation and get away.”

Currently enrolled students can attend the RAD class free of charge. Non-student guests have a $25 registration fee to attend the program. The names and information of women registered for the program is kept strictly confidential and is used only by the instructor.

Smith stated that he believed that the program began in 2005 and explained how participants can benefit from the course. 

“It’s been going on for quite a while,” said Smith. “The women that I’ve seen that go to the class love it. Several of them go though it multiple times down the years past. Once you go through your RAD class, you get your RAD certification. You can take a RAD class anywhere in America free of charge. I have yet to meet someone who is disappointed with it.” 

The 12-hour course is spread over two days. The sessions are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Women attending the course will be contacted a week before the class to tell them about the location of the course. They do not need to have previous experience in physical skills training. The RAD classroom is not open to guests for the safety of the participant. Only women taking the course are allowed in the area of the class.

Smith believes the RAD classes are beneficial for women even though they may not face any adverse situation in their lives.  

“A lot of times we speak to these ladies who have signed up for it,” said Smith. “They never have been involved in any kind of physical altercation in life, and we give them a sense of empowerment.”

The students or guests interested in the course can take further information from the RAD System of Physical Defense website or from the University Police website.