RAD training aims to increase campus safety

One of the strongest weapons a woman has is her voice.It’s also one that is often under-utilized in emergency situations, says Rape Aggression Defence (RAD) instructor and Brock University residence life co-ordinator Lesley Beninger.She says RAD training helps women find, and use, their voices.It also provides tips and physical moves women can utilize to thwart would-be attackers.“You can use different parts of your body,” she says. “My goal is to provide options and to make people confident in the tools they have.”Teaching women to yell, identify potential threats, be aware of their surroundings, throw a punch and fight back makes them stronger and increases their confidence, she says.“We try to teach them not to get into panic mode,” Beninger says.The training consists of a classroom component and intense, repetitive physical training where proper technique is covered and stressed.Delivering an effective strike (punch, kick, knee, etc.) isn’t just based on physical strength but a combination of technique and power.Adrienne Eby, a fourth-year concurrent education student and head resident at Quarry View, says RAD is offering training every woman should have.“It’s just good in general to have these tools,” she says, noting the training was more intense than she anticipated.RAD is being offered free of charge to female students, staff and faculty at Brock. The program started in December and 20 women have already completed the course. Organizers plan to run classes for 10 people each month and eventually hope to open it up to men. The next sessions are running March 18 and 19 and April 1 and 2. Space is limited but spots are still available.Rick Fraser, Manager of Emergency Management and Life Safety, says bringing RAD training to Brock was a way to be more proactive when it comes to student safety.He says all too often departments like Campus Security are reacting to acts of violence, harassment and sexual assault.When the Ontario government last March released the report, It’s Never Okay: An action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment, Campus Security started looking for ways to be proactive and be part of preventing acts of violence. In the section of the report dedicated to safe campuses, schools are encouraged to provide initiatives to support safety and offer information and resources about preventing sexual violence and harassment.Fraser says RAD training helps give Brock’s female students, staff and faculty the tools to make them more confident, safer and more aware.A key component of the training is giving women options when faced with potentially dangerous situations, and being comfortable and confident in using those personal weapons, he says.“The first option should always be to leave, to get away,” he says. “I don’t want you to fight or defend yourself unless you have to. If you do, I want you to be able to do it effectively and safely.”For more information about Brock’s RAD training, the next available course or to set up group/department specific courses, email [email protected] read more

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