UHPD offers free self-defense classes
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 60 percent of rapes are not reported and 73 percent of victims are assaulted by someone they know. It is estimated nationally that one out of six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
This is why preventing sexual assaults on campus is of utmost priority to UHPD Chief Malcolm Davis. UHPD’s annual crime report states that from 2006-2008 there were 34 sexual offenses on campus and in residential areas.
UHPD officials want to increase awareness and prevent sensitive crimes by promoting rape aggression defense.
Davis said he urges any female student or faculty member interested in the self-defense course to contact the department.
“It’s really a thing of empowerment,” Davis said. “The ultimate goal at the end of it is to put the student in the situation where if she is ever attacked that (she doesn’t) freeze. We give them (the necessary) tools if it becomes appropriate to fight.”
Lieutenant Derrick McClinton is the instructor of the R.A.D. class. The class is free of charge and McClinton said the combat style is similar to Krav Maga, an Israeli form of hand-to-hand combat.
The department decided to establish the course in 2004 after receiving a demand for some sort of self-defense education on campus. So far 131 students, faculty or staff have completed the R.A.D. course.
“We often get requests from students, staff and parents of students that are interested in some type of self defense,” McClinton said. “I think that it is a way for UHDPS to give something back to the community. It also breaks down barriers that may exist between citizens and law enforcement. The goal is to empower women through education and the realization of their physical powers.”
Instructors wear padded suits and put the students in situations where they must defend themselves. Instructors use video to correct any techniques the students could improve on because the action is sudden. On the last day of the class, the students go through a simulation where they are faced with multiple attackers and have to fight their way out.
To pass R.A.D., students must attend a 12-hour program, which has become problematic, McClinton said, because students don’t want to commit so much time to the class. McClinton said most people want a brief demonstration and the 12-hour course can be inconvenient for students.
“Like fast food, people want a quick one-hour instruction,” he said. “Trying to give them something short and quick would be a disservice to the participants.”
Usually the class has eight to 12 students. McClinton said he wants to make the class fit the schedule of all of its students but has not had a class since November.
McClinton has approached residential advisers, sororities and other student groups about taking the class.
The University provides several resources on prevention of sexual assault and counseling for victims including Counseling and Psychological Services, the University Health Center and Women’s Resource Center.