DPS to offer self-defense class

The Northern Kentucky University Police Department wants to help protect women from sexual violence, on campus and off.

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) is a basic self-defense class now offered, at no charge, by the NKU Police in conjunction with the Alexandria Police Department. The class is taught by trained police officers and takes place over a span of four sessions, totaling 12 hours. RAD, which is a certified course, is described on the Department of Public Safety’s web page as a “comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and avoidance.”

According to Sgt. Will Love of the NKU Police Department, the classes are offered to promote safety, awareness and to show techniques for women to defend themselves. This includes knowing when an attack is coming.

“The methods taught are basic, self-defense techniques,” said Love. “They are not aggressive, in the sense of learning to attack. It teaches how to defend yourself, and how to get away.”

Love said the NKU Police Department would like to have at least one officer from their department trained to teach the class. The class is currently being taught by Natalie Jackson, an officer for the Alexandria Police Department.

The lessons of self-defense instructed in class are very realistic, according to Jackson. She said she would use the moves from RAD class if she were attacked on the street.

“The class is not for campus use only,” Love said. “We’re trying to keep you safe wherever you go.”

According to the RAD website, the class is offered to men, women and children. However, Jackson said that she is only trained to teach basic physical defense for females over the age of 12.

The class that Jackson teaches is specifically designed to teach women how to defend themselves against men. The main difference between men and women, according to Jackson, is that most men tend to have more upper-body strength, while women have more strength in their lower body and legs.

Having a female officer to teach the RAD classes can be reassuring to other women, according to Love. It helps women realize that if another woman can do it, they can, too.

“You have to face an attacker at the end of the class. It’s a very realistic approach,” Jackson said.

Some women who have taken the RAD class from Jackson have shared stories of how they were later able to use what they learned from the lessons. In one such instance, a young woman was able to keep her purse from being stolen by using a move that she had learned in the class. Jackson attributes the woman’s success defending herself to RAD.

Love said that some women may be intimidated to fight back, which may be a cause for the low turnout when the class has been taught previously. On average, Love said about 10-15 women show up for RAD sessions. Another possible reason Love suggested for low attendance is time conflicts. Classes are usually offered in the evening, and many commuters leave before then.

According to Love, he would like to have at least 15-20 women sign up for the upcoming class. A date has not been set just yet, but Love said that if enough women commit to show up, he will work with Jackson to schedule it. The classes would most likely take place on a Tuesday and Thursday, two weeks in a row, Jackson said.

RAD classes are available to all female students, faculty and staff at NKU. To sign up for the class, e-mail yourcops@nku.edu, with your full name and contact information, including a phone number and e-mail address. You can also e-mail Natalie Jackson at njackson@alexandriaky.org. For information about RAD, go to http://dps.nku.edu/outreach/rape_defense.php.

Story by Roxanna Blevins