Two officers in red padded suits mimicking potential attackers approached a female student from behind as she pretended to be at an ATM machine. When the officers decided that she was “taking too long,” they “attacked” her. Without hesitation, she yelled “No! Stay Back!” as she used some of the defensive moves she learned in the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class until she managed to get away.
CSUF University Police began its RAD classes for the semester Feb. 24. The classes aim to provide women with the tools to defend themselves if they are faced with a potential assault.
The informational booklets handed out at the classes included the mantra, “I am prepared, I am capable, and I will survive no matter what!”
The course is broken into three segments, held on consecutive Fridays. The four-hour classes are offered exclusively to women. The next classes are set to be held in September, according to the University Police website.
The first class provided insight into different types of assault and how to defend oneself against them. Participants learned how to block a punch and ways to position their bodies depending on which type they were facing. On the second Friday, participants learned multiple kicks and how to break free from an attacker who attempts to restrain them.
The last class on March 10 put the students’ new skills into action by allowing participants to practice defensive moves on officers dressed in padded suits. Some of the scenarios they faced included instances in which an attacker approached while they were walking alone or occupied by a task. The women also practiced defending themselves against multiple attackers.
Officers taught the women that because each situation is so different, there is not one sure way to prevent these types of crimes.
“Nobody deserves to be a victim,” said University Police Cpl. Jose Rosales, the main instructor for the classes.
The FBI projects that 1 in 3 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime, which occurs every two minutes in the United States, according to the booklet. It also said that “one forcible rape occurs every seven minutes” in the United States, although it is estimated that 90 percent of rapes go unreported.
“Rape affects all people, no matter what their age, race or economic status. It is one of the most rapidly growing crimes in American society,” the booklet reads.
Officers during training emphasized the importance of a woman’s voice during a potential attack because it can alert other people, project confidence that may deter an attacker and provide an initial distraction that can allow them time to get away.
CSUF alumna Laila Mossadak said she took the RAD classes because she wanted to learn how to be aware of her surroundings and what to do in a bad situation.
“I didn’t understand the power of using your voice and now when all of these simulations happen and you just feel that energy building inside of you, you know that it has power and you have power to get people’s attention. That’s what’s going to get you help and that’s hopefully what’s going to bring you out of a bad situation,” Mossadak said.
After the final class, Mossadak said she felt really good and more confident in herself. She said she liked going through the scenarios and would be interested in participating in the final class again in the future.
RAD is a nationwide program that costs $25 for the series of classes. Once someone pays to attend the classes, they are allowed to come back to participate in future classes at any location for free.
Officer Kyle Millard said the CSUF RAD classes are available not only to students, but anyone that is interested. Friends and family are encouraged to attend, and they hope to increase the number of participants so they can increase the number of classes they hold. Miller said it is important to be prepared and not wait for something to happen.
“It’s definitely nice to see that (participants) feel a lot more confident and they can go after someone and not just be a victim. They can be the aggressor if someone is attacking them,” Millard said.