SPD offers free Rape Aggression Defense classes

R.A.D. course set to begin Feb. 27

SIDNEY — The Sidney Police Department (SPD) is again offering a free Rape Aggression Defense course for girls and women.

The Rape Aggression Defense system is a 12-hour-program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques for females 13 years old and older. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

“What the class does is teaches females, first, about situational awareness. It talks about what positions not to put yourself in and just goes through different scenarios where maybe you need to be more aware of your surrounding, and things you can do to stay safe,” Sidney Police Chief Will Balling said. “But then it goes into the more physical aspects of it. They will teach you different physical moves, and increase your confidence level to handle a situation, in case you are ever attacked.”

Balling said participants work up to the point where they fight against an instructor wearing a “red-man suit” protective gear so students can kick, punch or scratch when practicing to defend themselves. The course is designed so that females of most all physical levels can participate.

“We do put the participants in a situation where they are supposed to kick, claw, punch and show moves to improves their confidence level. Some of it is just verbal, just yelling at the guy saying ‘no.’ And nothing is to the point where anybody couldn’t do it. So, very few physical levels could not do it,” Balling said. “We want to make it as life like as possible, but it’s not like we want to set anybody up to fail.”

Instructors from Crimestoppers and New Choices are teaming up with SPD to help teach the course to keep females in the community safe.

The comprehensive course begins with risk awareness, reduction and avoidance education and then progresses to hands-on defense training. Classes are taught by certified R.A.D. instructors. Each participant receives a manual that outlines the entire physical defense program for reference and continuous personal growth. Every student receives a free, lifetime return and practice policy.

Classes are held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 27, March 5, 12 and 19 at SPD.

“I really encourage teenagers going to college, or females who find them self alone a lot, like a realtor or a nurse coming out of a building or hospital late at night,” Balling said.

Those interested in enrolling should contact Community Resource Officer Bryce Stewart at 937-498-8722 or bstewart@sidneyoh.com.

R.A.D. course set to begin Feb. 27