Downright defense

Ferris Rape Aggression Defense Program teaches self-defense techniques at no cost

With sexual assault being the most underreported violent crime in the U.S., many Ferris students may wonder what they can do if they ever find themselves in a threatening situation.

The Rape Aggression Defense Program (RAD) is a free, two-day self-defense course taught twice a year by the Ferris Department of Public Safety (DPS), only open to women.

“It’s always a fear I feel, for women. They have to deal with various stuff around the world. Being able to have that self-defense allows us to have more comfort and safety just walking around at night, or walking by ourselves,” Ferris clinical lab science sophomore Paige Lintemuth said. “We can protect ourselves and don’t need someone one else with us all the time.”

This year, the program will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7. The class will be taught by Ferris DPS Officer Nicholas Greenway and Ferris DPS Detective Sergeant Tim Jacobs.

“Let’s say you’re at Shooters and some creeper dude puts his arm around you. You learn how to get out of that,” Greenway said.

Currently, the program is limited to 30 participants to ensure each participant gets proper self-defense tactic training. According to the Ferris DPS Facebook page, if there is a high demand for the program, they may decide to add additional classes later this spring.

Ferris nursing freshman Sierra Vaughn, a Big Rapids native, said the program is a great idea. “Growing up, like high school here, there was a lot of things in the news about girls who got beat up in the parks and stuff, so you weren’t allowed to go out,” Vaughn said. “It’s a real problem in today’s society. It can prevent things like that if girls know how to defend themselves.”

The first day consists of some book work, while the second day of the program focuses on physical tactics, with a scenario-based challenge at the end of the course.

“In the book work, we talk about situational awareness and physical awareness,” Jacobs said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of shape you’re in or anything like that when you come into the class, but it lets you know what your limitations are, from verbal and using your voice to physical.”

Greenway said in the course they teach how to strike, punch, kick, and how to get out of a choke hold and a bear hold, among other techniques.

According to Greenway, the program is available only to women to prevent any potentially dangerous men from learning the strategies.

“They don’t want the bad guy knowing what’s coming, because you could defeat almost anything if you know what’s coming. It works on surprise and technique and the motion, more than just your power.”

For additional information regarding the RAD program, visit Ferris DPS’s homepage at ferris. edu/publicsafety and click on the “RAD” link.

To register for a RAD class, contact Ferris DPS at (231) 591- 5000.