Campus offers self-defense class for women at police department

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CSUN’s Rape, Aggression, Defense (RAD) training program will hold classes on April 16 and April 22-23 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the campus police department.

RAD is a self-defense class offered only to women, which teaches crime prevention, safety measures and martial arts. The classes cost $10 for students, faculty and staff, and $20 for everyone else.

Once someone has taken the class, they have a lifetime return policy and can attend any RAD class anywhere in the country for free whenever they want to refresh their skills.

“It really is $10 for a class that you can take as many times as you like,” said Christina Villalobos, special assistant to the chief of police and community relations officer. “What you learn in the class can be used?Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but at least it makes women more comfortable with using those types of techniques.”

Starting this fall semester, the RAD class will be offered for course credit and will be in the schedule of classes as a full semester-length class in which students will learn more about personal safety and other related issues, Villalobos said.

The police department is also working on starting a RAD program for men as well and they are currently training instructors, Villalobos said.

“For a police department at a university setting, it’s our obligation to educate the community on personal safety and safety in general,” Villalobos said.

Elizabeth Dorssom, a freshman and aspiring music major, took the class last semester. Dorssom said she had never taken a self-defense course.

“I’ve always heard of people being attacked on college campuses, and I just want to be able to defend myself if that happened to me,” Dorssom said. “There’s a lot of violence going on, and it’s important to know what to do if you get attacked.”

Dorssom said the class was fun and helpful.

“They taught us a lot of different techniques for a lot of different situations and in different situations what to do to get out of it,” Dorssom said. “At the very end, the police officers put on protective gear and we get to try out the techniques on them.”

Julianna Colwell, a sophomore engineering major, took the RAD class last semester as well. Colwell said the main thing she learned from the class was confidence.

“Now I know that I can get out of a situation with little or no harm to myself and a lot of harm to the person that’s attacking me,” Colwell said.

The first day of the class, they sit down and go over legal matters such as what constitutes a threat and how to handle yourself, Colwell said. This is followed by two days of basic self-defense techniques and finally the simulation day.

“It was a lot of fun because that’s just about the only time it’s OK to beat up on a cop,” Colwell said.

The class utilizes techniques compiled from different martial arts and it is tailored to a woman’s body, Colwell said.

Colwell learned karate in middle school and waited until her sophomore year to take the class because it previously conflicted with her night classes, Colwell said.

“It’s not hard,” Colwell said of the RAD class. “You don’t have to have skill for it. Bring your friends.”

In addition to RAD, the Department of Public Safety also offers safety classes on pepper spray, motor vehicle safety and identity theft during the spring semester, all of which take place toward the end of April and during first week in May.

Villalobos said, “These classes are really popular and we have gotten requests to offer certain types of classes, so we encourage people to give us suggestions of things they’d like to see.”

For more information or to sign up, stop by the police building.


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