By Mary O’Connell
Starting Saturday, Oct. 30 Sacred Heart University’s Public Safety will be hosting a Rape Aggression Defense program, or R.A.D., for all women affiliated with Sacred Heart over the age of 14.
The nine-hour course, which is broken up into three sessions, will take place at the Cambridge campus and is encouraging women to take control of their own safety through applying various defense strategies.
The course, specifically made for women, divides its classes into two parts, implementing different techniques, both strategy and physical defense based. The first class will have a PowerPoint and focuses on teaching risk
reduction and situational awareness strategies.
“It’s about recognizing that something could be potentially threatening, learning ways to avoid it and ultimately rerouting your behavior so that you don’t get faced with an unfortunate situation,” said Sacred Heart Crime Prevention Officer Stephanie Trelli, who is also a certified R.A.D. instructor.
The following sessions are where the physical defense techniques are taught. Instructors will teach defense mechanisms such as striking motions, kicking, how to get out of a bear hug or chokehold and more.
If one decides to take the 12-hour course that consists of four sessions, the final class offers the opportunity to participate in a live simulation to practice the defense skills that are learned, in a safe environment.
Women at Sacred Heart are already starting to take interest in having the chance to learn more about self-defense and assault prevention.
“I think that students will benefit from this program by becoming more knowledgeable on how to protect and keep themselves safe. To someone considering R.A.D., I would tell them to go for it; it would be nothing less than beneficial,” said senior Lauren Garizio.
The course is designed to inspire women to take their safety into their own hands by being proactive in dangerous situations.
It also intends to promote women’s confidence and empower them through the awareness strategies and self-defense that they are taught in the program.
“It’s empowering to be able to say, ‘you know what I’m not going to be as scared to walk down a street by myself’ or ‘I know how to successfully deploy some physical defensive techniques if I have to.’ I would highly recommend it. You take the class hoping you’ll never have to use the tools that we provide you but preparing for safety is something everyone should do, “ said Trelli.
R.A.D. is free of charge and has a lifetime return and practice policy. This means that anyone who has completed the course is able to retake it through different organizations. The course may also be available upon request by groups or organizations such as sororities or staff members.
“As a woman in college I think it is really important to know how to be able to defend yourself and be proactive in certain situations where assaults can happen. It seems like a long course but it may be worth it in the long run,” said junior Alexis Campbell.
The three sessions will be held on Oct. 30, Nov. 6 and Nov. 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. located at Cambridge’s campus.