UNA PD offers rape awareness, defense course

UNA offers options for students to learn about rape awareness and defense.

The UNA police department offers the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) system, a self-defense class for females in the university community. The program aims to teach women a realistic set of defense tactics to prevent assault.

Shequanda Jenkins, a certified RAD instructor, teaches the free course.

Terry Parker, interim sergeant with university police, assists with the course and said it is important for women.

“You always want people to be aware of their surroundings,” Parker said. “You don’t want to be a victim. We want to give females tools on how to protect themselves in situations where males are cornering them and attempting to attack them. We don’t necessarily want them to go toe-to-toe with someone, but we want to give them methods of defense to inflict injury and have the chance to escape.”

Parker said the course runs from eight to 10 hours, depending on class size.

“We spend a couple of hours going over a PowerPoint and classroom material,” Parker said. “The rest of the course is spent actually learning the moves. We create simulations of attacks and give the females the opportunity to practice. We’re looking for muscle memory—the more you practice something, it becomes instinctual.”

To sign up for the RAD system program or get more information, contact UNA police at 256-765-4357 or sign up online at www.una.edu/police/.

The Women’s Center also offers educational resources, such as an array of literary materials and a monthly newsletter. The center also works closely with campus counseling services.

Guest speakers are a large part of the center’s programs, and there are typically one or two speakers each week, said Emily Kelley, director of the Women’s Center.

While not all speakers address sexual assault awareness and defense, some speakers each semester do, Kelley said.

Kelley said the center endorses the RAD program and the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP), which escorts students across campus after dark.

“There’s no need to take chances,” Kelley said. “It’s just foolish. You have these resources available, and you should take advantage of them. You don’t go anywhere alone. The old buddy system always works.”