Self-Defense Program for Women


Students with RAD instructor

By Paulina Carrillo

Rape Aggression Defense Systems is a free monthly self-defense program offered to all women at College of Southern Nevada. The program is instructed by CSN’s police officers.

Carolyn Downey, RAD instructor and police sergeant at CSN’s police department, said there’s a remarkable change in the women who join the program from when they first start to the final class.

CSN students, staff members and others from the community joined the four-day program in September.

Classes consisted of a one-day educational and awareness segment. There were two days of basic hands-on technique training where students learned how to do fist strikes, knee strikes, kicks, wrist grabs, chokes and ground defense. During the final class, instructors and students went through live scenarios with aggressors where students used what they learned.

“It gave us practical knowledge, but even better, practical application,” said Haunani Taylor, e-learning specialist at CSN who attended the program. “We actually got to simulate it against aggressors and attackers so we got to put it in to practice, in to play.”

IMG-20150919-WA0000“I took the class because I thought it would be a good workout,” said Cheyenne Taylor, CSN student. “I thought it would be useful since I’m on the college campus a lot. I didn’t really know what to expect going in to it. My mom just said that it was a useful class that we should go to, so I tried to keep my mind open and what I got out of it was a stronger sense of self and I could say ‘no’ more easily.”

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “For the period 1995 to 2013, females ages 18 to 24 had the highest rate of rape and sexual-assault victimizations compared to females in all other age groups. Within the 18 to 24 age group, victims could be identified as students enrolled in a college, university, trade school or vocational school or as nonstudents.”

To help avoid sexual assault victimizations, one of the program’s main focus is building confidence. RAD instructors help women recognize the strength of their physical abilities and power. They teach women how to protect themselves. Downey states that women leave the program walking with their heads higher.

“You actually have options and you can take charge of the situation,” Haunani Taylor said. “You’re not powerless.” She learned techniques in the program that will empower her to come out a winner not a victim.

“Well [the training] is totally different,” said Joan McGee, executive director of campus administration at CSN who attended the program. It taught me how to think through various situations and how to prevent many of them before they even start.

“I’m going to share it with everyone I know because I think it’s a wonderful program,” McGee said. “It’s a good work out and I think everyone should do it.”

RAD classes are monthly. Contact CSN Division of Workforce and Economic Development at 702-651-4747 for information.

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