OU Women Get R.A.D.!

R.A.Dstands for the Rape Aggression Defense System, a comprehensive self defense course. R.A.D.-certified instructor, OUPD Chief Melvin Harris, led a group of approximately 17 young women through the 12-hour course that teaches the tenets of awareness, risk reduction, prevention, and avoidance, and the basics of actual hand-to-hand defensive training.

All of the training culminated with the students engaging officers in hand-to-hand defense scenarios. Twelve students in their protective gear were placed in vulnerable situations in which they had to extricate themselves physically. The simulation became much more realistic when the officer restrained each woman and tried to rough her up. However, each woman was able to utilize the techniques they had learned on how to fight back, draw attention to their predicament, and most importantly, break free from the attacker and get to safety.

Ruth Spann, a student participant, said the simulation was “really kind of scary but I was excited to know how to defend myself” she said. “I am very glad that I came and learned these techniques!”

Charlotte Brand, staff member in the OUPD Office, wanted to be a part of this R.A.D. training so I could help the young ladies understand how important it is to protect themselves—not only from strangers, but from anyone, including friends, acquaintances, or even family members, who could violate them in any way. A lot of times people see an attacker as big and vicious, but many of them you already know. They are seemingly sweet and nice, but their intentions are not nice at all.

Chief Harris stated, “I want the women on campus to feel empowered through R.A.D. training. That’s why this year we offered the training to Oakwood staff members as well.” Harris said that approximately 12 students completed the training during this last session, and the OUPD is planning to offer the training again in the future. “We hope more students, staff, and faculty will take advantage of this training so they can be just a little safer in their homes, at work, and wherever they go.”

by Victoria L. Joiner, Ed.D., associate professor of Communication

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