SIUE officers teach RAD techniques to women’s studies class

Students who attended a shortened self-defense seminar prior to spring break are now more prepared to defend themselves should the need arise.

SIUE police officers teach self-defense techniques to a Women's Studies class prior to spring break.

Sgt. Lisa Johnson and SIUE officers Tara Vaughn and Trisha Bland spoke to a Women’s Studies class, discussing Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training and services SIUE police offer.

The techniques taught were not to prepare women to fight an attacker, but rather teach them how to survive an attack.

Johnson said she loves being able to empower women to build their confidence and “let them know they already have the skills to be a survivor.”

“They are more powerful than they even know…,” Johnson said. “People just don’t think they have it in them, but when a situation happens and they have to either survive, they already have it. All we do is find that in them and bring it out.”

Johnson, Vaughn and Bland taught three basic stances and a series of kicks women can use in case of an attack.

The best tool a woman has is her hips, which can help women use their own body momentum to fight off an attacker. They also discussed pressure points and using regular items, such as keys, purses and backpacks as weapons.

Johnson said even if alcohol is involved in an attack, the incident should still be reported.
“No matter what you did, it doesn’t justify being assaulted,” Johnson said.

Bland said it is important to say, “No,” because that may alert someone nearby to what is occurring and can be used as a defense.

This is the second year Johnson has taught the abbreviated self-defense course to a women’s studies class.

“It is wonderful that we are able to meet with a group of females like this… [and] if they learn one thing today it [is] worth our time, and it’s fun,” Johnson said after the session.

RAD was founded by a male military police officer in Virginia, according to Johnson.

The next full seminar is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. April 21.

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