After hearing of the recent break-ins at Venlo Apartments, Ferris senior biology and pre-physical therapy major Kristi Peroceshi wanted to learn what to do if she was put in a similar situation.
“I figured it would be a good idea for me to know how to protect myself,” Peroceshi said.
Ferris State University’s Department of Public Safety held free self-defense classes geared toward teaching women how to react in aggressive situations.
Sgt. James Wing, Officer Joy Paquette and Officer Nick Greenway held the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class from 1 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 and 27. Approximately 20 women participated.
RAD is a realistic self-defense program that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance while also teaching women the basics of hands-on defense training.
“Our main goal is for women to leave here more confident in themselves,” Paquette said.
The two-day program has been held at Ferris since 1999 and is for women 13 and older. Attendance for both days is required because the training is progressive.
The women attending the class were put through various scenarios to practice what they had learned in the class.
Ferris senior in biology and pre-physical therapy Kristi Peroceschi attended both sessions and brought two of her friends along.
According to Ferris’ annual crime statistics, in the past four years there have been 16 reported counts of forcible sex offense.
“I realized I’ve become more aware and less trusting when I’m out walking on the streets,” Peroceshi said.
Ferris sophomore accounting major Mary Renne didn’t know what to expect when she signed up for the class and had no prior self-defense experience.
“I’m more sure of myself now,” Renne said. “Without taking the class and knowing what to do, if I was put in a certain situation I probably would have been raped.”
Both Renne and Peroceshi said they would recommend the class to their friends and family.
The class is expected to be held again sometime mid-April.
More information about RAD can be found at ferris.edu/HTMLS/othersrv/campussafety/raddefense.html.