RAD self defense program, free for female students

by | Nov 4, 2016 | Campus News, Life

Olivia Morris
Life Reporter

Humber’s Department of Public Safety notices that women feel confident in their ability to defend themselves after they participate in the Rape. Aggression. Defence (RAD) training program.

Qualified Humber College employees teach the RAD self-defense training program. The training session, which normally costs $500, is free to female students interested in learning the ropes of self-defense.

Humber employees are continuously sent to get re-certified to teach the program to the young women, ensuring that they grasp the easy to follow rape prevention and self defense techniques. The purpose of the program is to help young women get to safety quickly and efficiently, should an attacker ever confront them.

RAD instructor and manager of Finance and Administration of Public Safety Jasjeet Bal said she notices how reticent some of the young women are when they first come in for training.

“When people first come in they’re really shy and they don’t really know how to deal with these things because they don’t have the confidence,” Bal said.

“When they don’t have confidence they get scared and choose to block out everything, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and have confidence. When you’re put in that position, having confidence and making sure you’re aware of how you are going to get to that exit zone is important.”

A variety of tactics are taught during the training session. Techniques include getting out of a bear hug and chokeholds. The women are also taught striking motions, blocking and a few kicks to use against their attacker.

How to escape being pinned down to the ground by an attacker is also part of the training session.

A study conducted in 2015 by Kate Carey, professor of behavioural and social sciences in the Brown University of Public Health in Providence, R.I., focused on the frequency of sexual assault on college campuses. The study into incapacitated rape indicated nearly one in five college women were victims of rape or attempted rape during their freshmen year, with most falling prey during their first three months on campus.

Additionally, the Association of American Universities conducted a survey in September 2015 that found more than 27 per cent of female college seniors reported having experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact since entering college.

University of Guelph-Humber kinesiology student Nicole Curti said constantly hearing about sexual violence victimizing young women in today’s society has led her to believe that something could happen to her.

In RAD training, the young women are taught to defend themselves. The program isn’t geared towards having females initiate an attack on their assailant, its main focus is getting away from the situation they are faced with.

“All women should have basic knowledge on how to defend themselves and fight back against men who sometimes don’t see us as equals.

“I feel like the RAD training program is an amazing idea and is something all women should participate in in case of an emergency,” Curti said.

The RAD training program was first established about seven years ago in the United States. Many colleges and universities across North America adopted the program, including the University of Ottawa and Ryerson University.

Humber director of Public Safety and Emergency Management Rob Kifoyle believes the program brings about a level of confidence.

“Ultimately, I think the program helps boost confidence and teaches young women some very simple things that they can do to protect themselves and make themselves more safe,” said Kifoyle.

“It’s sad that anyone has to potentially learn this information, but it’s the day and age that we live in and it’s not inappropriate for people to know how to look after and protect themselves.” he said.

The Department of Public Safety relies heavily on feedback from the participants. The surveys determine whether females found the training session tactics to be helpful in the event of an attack.

“Women always comment when they leave that they feel confident in their abilities and that they now know some simple things that they can do if they are ever confronted by an attacker. It’s always positive,” Kifoyle said.

A training session is scheduled for Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North campus community room. The defence session typically takes place during the start of the fall semester and again early in the winter semester.