In an effort to help women overcome the effects of both sexual harassment and sexual violence, the Turlock Police Department and the Stanislaus State University Police are joining together to provide Rape Aggression Defense Training for women in the Turlock community.
“Rape Aggression Defense is a women-only program created to develop and enhance the options of self defense, so they may become viable considerations to women who are attacked,” said Officer Mayra Lewis, spokesperson for the Turlock Police Department.
The free training is offered in a twelve-hour course that is broken up into two sessions over a period of two weeks. By teaching assertiveness, awareness, risk reduction, risk recognition, avoidance and physical defense strategies, RAD helps women to grow holistically, emotionally and physically.
“The most often used strategy that women utilize during an attack is screaming and some type of physical resistance,” said Lewis. “Most of the time women follow their instincts, they scream and resist, however sometimes they do so ineffectively. The objective is to replace the fear, confusion and panic during a dangerous situation or an attack with knowledge and skills to protect themselves from violence.”
Education, dependency on the self, decision-making and responsibility, and self-realization of physical power are coupled with basic self-defense techniques to make up the RAD curriculum.
“We women are responsible for our own safety,” said Lewis. “We need to be aware and recognize potential risks we are exposed to on an everyday basis. We need to know how to reduce the risks, but most importantly how to avoid them.”
The next RAD course is being held May 4 and May 11. To register, contact Turlock Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Michelle Backeroff at (209) 656-3153.
“We need to be prepared, and we need to get out of the mentality that an attack is never going to happen to us,” said Lewis. “Instead you should be thinking, ‘am I prepared if an attack happens?’”