Defense class helps students channel inner strength

Program educates students how to prepare of life-threatening situations

By Mariah Trammel
On February 28, 2014

  • Head Coach Sally Brooks meets with team during a timeout. Pam Belcher

The ASU Police Department hosted a Rape Aggression Defense class Saturday, Feb. 22, that the women from Association of Mexican American Student (AMAS) participated in.

This class provides women with the knowledge and practice on how to defend themselves.

"It's mostly for empowering women, and giving them confidence to defend themselves against an aggressor," ASU Police Officer Mary Wilson said. "An aggressor is anybody that is going to attack or rape them. Basically, 90 percent of the time the victim knows the aggressor. It's somebody they're dating-their husbands, brothers, or cousins."

The first segment of the class was geared toward explaining the definitions of sexual assault and how to avoid giving assailants the opportunity to attack, Wilson said. This is important information that women, particularly young college students, should be aware of.

Wilson said that students should exercise more caution when they are walking to their cars or walking around campus. Cell phones may cause a distraction. The instructors said that when a student walks alone, he or she should stay off of the cell phone and keep a key ready to use as a weapon if necessary.

The AMAS women who attended the class are also involved in a sub-group within AMAS, called Mariposas, which focuses on sisterhood.

"Mariposas felt this event was important because it's one that allows us to gain knowledge about our daily surroundings and be aware that danger is everywhere," junior Kierstin Hernandez said. "So, as young ladies, rather than being victims, we can defend ourselves and help others who are in trouble.

The instructors also touched on the importance of alertness at parties and in bars. Date rape is far too common. College women must take preventative actions to avoid being drugged.   

No one should leave a drink unattended. Someone who does leave a drink unattended should get a new one. One should avoid drinks one did not open or observe being opened or prepared. Furthermore, if the drink tastes strange, it should be disposed.

The second part of the class focused on the physical practice of self-defense. Participants were taught basic moves and were allowed to practice these moves on a police officer in a padded suit.

Hernandez said this class did a brilliant job in providing insight on how not to become a victim.

"We feel better and are more aware of the environments we place ourselves in," she said. "I highly recommend this class to other women."

It's essential to be open-minded and to know that you don't need physical power, Wilson said. Possessing a strong balance and the mindset that you are going to get away are your tools for power.

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