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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Getting defensive

Valentina Martinelli
Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat Students learn RAD self-defense protection techniques at campus health on Thursday April 28, 2011. RAD is a comprehensive course that emphasizes training in awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance.

Women learned how to stop violence in its tracks at Highland Commons on Thursday.   

Campus Health Service held the last Rape Aggression Defense Systems (RAD) class for the semester in the DeArmond meeting room.

The defense class was sponsored by the Campus Health’s Oasis Program, which deals with the prevention of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking for students.

Oasis also offers free confidential counseling for all faculty, staff and students affected by sexual assault and relationship violence.

At the workshop, participants learned basic defense moves that were developed to teach women the skills they need to escape an attacker. RAD-certified instructors, who cover key points of physical defense, teach the women-only course.

“”The idea is that we can defend ourselves enough to stop an assailant from moving us from one location to another,”” said Erin Strange, a violence prevention specialist for Oasis. “”We can’t go above and beyond the force that is projected onto us.””  

Some of the risk reduction strategies taught during the course involved identifying the three elements of an abduction including the opportunity to attack, the assailant and the victim.

RAD is not a martial arts program and only instructed to be used in physical defense situations to get way from an aggressor.

“”You’re not a fighter in a ring,”” said Melanie Fleck, an outreach specialist for Campus Health. “”Safety is one of the most important things we talk about here.””

Women who attended the workshop also had the opportunity to discuss other ways to take precaution from violence including securing their homes from intruders and dating advice when meeting someone for the first time.

“”You can Google people,”” Fleck said. “”This might be a strange resource, but if the information is out there you might be able to get a better idea of who they are.””  

April is Sexual Awareness Month and as a result, the Oasis Program has been involved in coordinating a few events on campus over the last few weeks. This included teaming up with the ASUA Women’s Resource Center for Take Back the Night, and event used to raise awareness about sexual violence.

Oasis also hosts RAD defense training for residence halls and clubs throughout the school year. The service is free of charge to the UA community.

“”It’s a great way to learn techniques on how to better protect yourself,”” said Sally Wilder, nursing sophomore and self-defense student. “”I see this as being good knowledge to have, but I hope I never have to use it.”” 

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