Women Can Learn Ways to Fight Back Against Assault
Posted on 07/18/2019
Instructors are police officers Matt Duggins and Melissa Vernon (far right).A Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training program will be held for all interested women on Aug. 31 and Sept. 7 in the lower level at City Hall. It will be the second time the free program is being offered this year.

RAD’s main objective is to empower women to defend themselves in an attempted assault or during an attack. It also strives to help lower the risk of women becoming victims in the first place. Physically, women will learn basic self-defense moves to use if they are faced with an attacker.

The program will be conducted in two four and one-half (4-1/2) hour sessions, at a time to be determined. The full nine-hour course includes a lecture, discussion, and a hands-on self-defense component. Officers Melissa Vernon and Matt Duggins are the instructors.

Vernon said, “Women learn how to handle themselves in the presence of an aggressor and how to connect with their own physical power.” During the practice session, participants are trained how to place kicks and strikes to a padded target to practice warding off an attacker. The class also covers how to make quick but sound decisions when confronted by an attacker.

According to statistics compiled by RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network), one out of every six women in the United States has been a victim of sexual assault. The majority (almost 70%) of sexual assaults happen to women under the age of 35.

“Regardless of the risk of being assaulted and at what age,” Vernon said, “RAD focuses on educating women about the four risks of personal safety: risk awareness, risk reduction, risk recognition, and risk avoidance.

“The initial program we conducted in the spring empowered students to be overall more confident and aware of their surroundings. Also, the participants truly enjoyed learning the self-defense techniques.”

By signing up, participants must commit to attending both classes. Classes are limited to 12 participants. For more information or to register, please call 248-305-2723.

RAD has a lifetime return and practice policy. Participants who complete the program are allowed to return to practice at any location where RAD training is offered.