RAD class offers students defense, support

Tyler Cox

Rape Aggression Defense is a second seven-week class offered at UW Oshkosh that provides information and techniques to avoid sexual violence both mentally and physically. Director of LGBTQ Resource Center Liz Cannon said RAD was designed to teach students what to do in a situation involving sexual assault or aggression by a stranger and or a partner. “Our goal is ‘to develop and enhance the options of self-defense, so they may become viable considerations to the individual who is attacked,’” Cannon said. Cannon said society can have an impact when dealing with issues like sexual violence. “So clearly, what needs to be done is change our culture so the perpetrators of this type of violence do not feel supported in their actions and as if they need to express power and dominance in this way,” Cannon said. According to Cannon, the class is not only about defending one’s self physically, but it also to avoid physical confrontation all together. “This course also provides an hour in the classroom in which the mental side of self-defense can be addressed, remembering that 90 percent of self-defense is mental and 10 percent is physical,” Cannon said. “The goal is to keep oneself from a position where the physical skills will be needed but to know them in case the situation arises.” Lt. Christopher Tarmann said expanding the program will allow a RAD class for men. “We’d like to do the rape aggression defense for men,” Tarmann said. “We just need to get people trained.” Tarmann said there are plans in motion to have more people trained for the class.“I think within the next six to eight months or so we will have somebody at our department who is trained,” Tarmann said. “I think it means more classes. If we had more instructors then we could teach another seven week class during the semester.” UWO student Justin Mathwig said the class seems like it would be a good resource for victims. “My question is do victims have a higher potential to be assaulted again, and if so this class makes sense that it is geared towards previous victims,” Mathwig said. Cannon said there are other resources on and off campus for victims of a sexual assault to learn how to defend themselves and cope with what happened “Remember, that anyone experiencing any type of sexual violence should strongly consider talking to our victim advocate on campus, Katie Husky, and/or to a professional in the Counseling Center and should strongly consider talking to University Police,” Cannon said.