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A "RAD" way to empower women

by Margaret Stewart | copy editor
Tue, Oct 9th 2018 01:00 pm

This is the second year that the Rape Aggression Defense System (RAD) will be offering classes to women at The College at Brockport.

“[The mission of this organization is] to establish an accessible, constantly improving an internationally respected alliance of dedicated Instructors,” states the group’s website. “These Instructors in turn, will provide educational opportunities for women, children, men and seniors to create a safer future for themselves.”

Beginning in 1989, over 300,000 women have been trained by the program. With over 7,000 trained instructors, the programs are most often found at various colleges or universities. 

The College at Brockport as well as State University of (SUNY) New York Geneseo are the two schools within the SUNY system to have this program. Notably, Brockport is the only campus in Monroe County that offers this program.

RAD strongly believes that “Women’s self-defense training should not only be about practicing techniques for physical defense, but also be an experience that breaks the cycle of societal influence.”

This touches on the ever-present impact that media has in society. Women’s lives in particular has been shaped  by society in order to make women complacent, compliant and non-confrontational. There is an expectation of women to be the “peace makers,” to not stir up trouble, especially in regards to a certain demographic. 

However, women are beginning to go against this ideology and speak up. This program focuses on building women’s decision-making abilities as well as empowering them to be self-dependent. By educating these women, they are made aware of their, often unrealized, physical power.

“In doing this, we challenge society to evolve into an existence where violence is not an acceptable part of daily life,” states rad-systems.org.

There are three officers trained on campus to lead this program. Two of which, are female.

Officer Carla Fintak, one of the female RAD certified instructors, mentions that one of her favorite moments is watching how excited the girls get over hitting the impact bag for the first time. 

“For many of the students, this is the first time they have ever hit anything in their life, so when they hit that bag they often convey to us how awesome it actually felt to hit something,” Fintak explains. “For me personally, it’s rewarding to see that we as instructors have helped them come to the realization that they in fact have the power to protect themselves from an attack, if the need should ever arise someday.”

The training takes place over four dates, with the fourth date being optional, but the most fun. Taking place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the ROTC gym in Cooper Hall, the first date is coming up on Sunday, Oct. 21. The following dates, also all at the same time on Sundays, are Oct. 28, November 4                  and November 11. 

 

mstew7@brockport.edu | @margotpolo96

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