I took a one credit RAD (rape aggression defense) class during my junior year of college. It was a laid back class where all twelve of us got to know each other, but I also feel like I learned a lot as well. Here are four things I learned from Rape Aggression Defense class.
Being a women makes you vulnerable.
According to the book Transforming a Rape Culture, a Rape Culture is “best defined as a culture in which rape is prevalent and pervasive and is sanctioned and maintained through fundamental attitudes and beliefs about gender, sexuality, and violence.” Our society often views women as fragile, weak, and defenseless. But men and women are created equal, right? The truth is, women are more vulnerable to attacks because they are perceived as easy victims.
Nobody is immune to an attack.
When I flip through newspapers, I don’t read about rape. Occasionally we will see articles about burglary, theft, etc. but we don’t read about rape because it’s so personal. This makes it easy for me to ignore the rape culture that we live in. As much as I would like to ignore the fact that I increase my chances of being assaulted when I walk alone at night across campus, or when I leave my car unlocked because I’ll be back in a minute, or when I leave my door unlocked when I sleep because I’m a light sleeper, RAD snapped me back into a reality that I have previously been able to ignore.
It´s not just about fighting.
RAD is not a martial arts program. Above all, the most important thing I learned in RAD is prevention. I am now more aware of my surroundings. I don’t talk on the phone when I walk back from the library at night; instead, I walk confidently and briskly with my head up. I no longer keep my door unlocked while I’m sleeping, because I have no idea who I am unintentionally inviting in. Of course, I’ll be ready if I am assulted, but RAD helped me realize that the best defense is a preventative one.
Free return policy
Anyone who takes a Rape Aggression Defense class pays a one time fee and then becomes a member for life. This means that any RAD graduate can take a class for free in the United States or Canada if there is space in the class. They have the option of taking the entire class or just certain parts. This not only makes RAD a great deal, it also means women can brush up on their skills whenever they want.
Women´s Self Defense Institute, http://www.self-defense-mind-body-spirit.com/rad.html
Transforming a Rape Culture, Emilie Buchwald, Pamela R.Fletcher, Martha Roth, Milkweed Editions 1995