February 29, 2016

CSU offers self-defense courses to female students

Once a semester, Cleveland State University offers a three-day session of Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) courses to female students.

The program teaches realistic self-defense practice, which are awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance.

Lieutenant Beverly Pettrey first brought the program to Cleveland State in 2009 after she was promoted into the crime prevention unit.

Pettrey researched the other colleges offering the program across the nation.

After taking the RAD course offered at Case Western Reserve University, Pettrey brought it to Cleveland State.

Pettrey became a certified RAD instructor after the police department invested in her training before the program started.

The classes range from 15 to 20 students with two to three instructors per course. There are three sessions per course, with each day focusing on something different.

The first session focuses on the four main self-defense practices. The second session is hands-on training and interaction. The final session is a review, followed by a simulation where the participants are able to fight an “attacker.”

“The biggest benefit is that it builds confidence,” Pettrey said. “The majority of women that take this course say that they feel more confident in their ability to effectively defend themselves and escape an attacker.”

According to Pettrey, the techniques that are taught in the course are easy to learn and effective for all women, both young and old.

The RAD classes are offered once a semester at Cleveland State. Sometimes, two classes will be held per semester depending on the interest received in a particular class.

Groups and organizations on and off campus can request another session be held.

If groups are interested in another session, they can call or e-mail Lieutenant Pettrey or Crime Prevention Officer James Rivera.

Pettrey said she believes that the RAD program is incredibly valuable to have on college campuses across the nation.

“I think it’s an extremely important program,” she said.

“I think that all colleges, by offering [it], the students, the community and women could benefit greatly. In my opinion, every college should have it.”



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