Every ASU student should take a self-defense class

Both male and female students should take the R.A.D. self-defense course in order to protect themselves from sexual violence

With the rise of sexual assault cases on college campuses, all students should be more cautious of their surroundings. In case of an attack, students should be prepared and know the proper techniques to fend off attackers.

In 2015, 36 rape cases were reported across ASU's Tempe, West, Polytechnic and Downtown campuses. 

The ASU Police Department provides free Rape Aggression Defense Systems (R.A.D.) self-defense courses for all members of the ASU community.

This problem transcends ASU, however. It is a nationwide problem we need to tackle. 

The U.S. Justice Department released a study at nine institutions that surveyed 15,000 women and 8,000 men. The study defined sexual assault as including both rape and sexual battery, such as forced kissing, touching, grabbing or fondling.

“Rape Aggression Defense Systems consist of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques," Rebecca Garcia, an ASU crime prevention officer, said. "The R.A.D. System is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance that progress to the basics of hands-on defensive training.”

Dana Debretto, a senior film major, was not aware that ASU offered the R.A.D. programs and has been looking to take a self-defense class.  

“The class would absolutely be beneficial,” Debretto said. "Students should always feel like they can defend themselves."

Garcia is one of the officers who helps coordinate R.A.D. classes and said that “the classes are useful if a situation ever arises.”

R.A.D. is not a martial arts class, but rather a 12-hour course that covers different self-defense mechanisms and techniques. 

Tiger Horikawa, a sophomore accountancy major, said that ASU students, including men, are curious about self-defense classes.

"Men should take the classes as well and be trained, as one could protect somebody or themselves in the case of an attack,” Horikawa said.

By taking this course, students will learn how to form comfortable boundaries through communication, understand when and how to use self-defense techniques and understand what to expect when engaging in physical contact.

According to an ASU sexual violence report, 3.1 percent of ASU women and 1.2 percent of ASU men had reported an attempted or successful sexual assault to ASU authorities in 2015. Unwanted sexual touching was reported by nearly eight percent of women and 3.6 percent of men.

The study found that 21 percent of female undergraduates said they had been sexually assaulted while in college.

Sexual assault on campus is a horrific event that no student should have to cope with. Although they should not have to be, students should be highly aware of their surroundings and prepared with strategies to escape dangerous situations.

In order to prevent these horrid indecencies from occurring, the community must be educated in how to react in cases of sexual violence. The R.A.D. classes are crucial to the safety of college students.  

Students need to be more aware of the potential for sexual assault and the prevalence of it on ASU’s campus.  

Reach the columnist at nlplunke@asu.edu or follow @ninalplunkett on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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