R.A.D. empowering women

Female students learn self-defense

By Eunice Tibay
On September 14, 2017

Photo by Brit Raley
Desiree Quinonez, sophomore, demonstrates a self-defense move for the group.

Women of ASU had the opportunity to learn self-defense moves Sept. 9 at the Rape Aggression Defense for Women program sessions held by the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health.

"We try to do it (the program) within the first few weeks of each semester if we can," Kaitlyn Brosh, Vista Project Manager and Volunteer R.A.D Instructor for the institute, said. "It’s a nine-hour course, and we’ve broken it down in three three-hour parts. I try to offer each part at least twice each semester so that everybody has an opportunity to get started, and then have multiple opportunities to take part one and part three, and then try to get a simulation as well."

The purpose of R.A.D. is educating the female population on sexual harassment awareness and how to defend themselves against it. The nine-hour long training program taught attendees how to defend one’s self using ordinary objects they carry, blocking attacks of the assailant, and even throwing back attacks in self-defense.

"90 percent of self-defense is education and awareness of your surroundings," Brosh said. "We go over sexual assault statistics, what we can do to protect ourselves without having to get physical in the first place, and then we move into doing physical skill. We teach several skills about how to use the personal weapons that you possess on your body and how you can use those against the vulnerable areas of an assailant."

The program also talked about what steps to take when a date makes them uncomfortable, as well as giving advice on staying alert with one’s surroundings, whether it’s at home or in a public space.

"Since I’m small, I’m kind of considered more weak to the eye, and I don’t want to be helpless," freshman attendee, Keri Hill said. "Even though I don’t like to go anywhere I don’t know people, I wanted to come to this because I don’t want to be helpless."

Due to a high number of sexual assault cases, Brosh thought it was important that women were given the chance to learn how to protect themselves.

"There’s a lot of things in the media concerning sexual assault and things on campus," Brosh said, "So we really wanted to make sure that we were able to give the students something that they were able to use to really protect themselves in one of these scenarios. If nothing else, it’s my goal that none of my girls have to use these skills, but if I can give them self-confidence to know that they can protect themselves, that I think is a huge win."

The R.A.D training is not only for female students; there will be another R.A.D. program for men, which is designed to help men make decisions when encountering aggressive behavior. The program will be announced later in the semester.

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