FORT LEWIS, Wash (May 9, 2008) - The Rape Aggression Defense System is coming to Fort Lewis and volunteers are needed.
The Fort Lewis Family Advocacy Program is seeking community members who would like to become certified instructors for the system.
The RAD System strengthens women's innate survival instincts through preparation, education and training, teaching them awareness, prevention, sexual assault definitions, patterns of encounter, basic principles of self-defense and other useful tools to help women cope in an assault situation.
"The victim is never responsible for what happens to them, but the victim needs every tool they can have to protect themselves in case the unconscionable does happen," said Sandi Doyle, Family Advocacy Program manager. "This is one tool that sounded to me like something that just any woman could use."
While the program teaches women how to defend themselves, it also raises their awareness level and consciousness, which might help them to avoid dangerous situations all together, Doyle said. These are all things the program provides, but Doyle hopes the women of Fort Lewis will walk away from the class with a little more.
"My hope would be that they come away feeling confident, sure of themselves, that they understand that they have a right to be safe, no matter where they go, and that they have a right to do whatever they need to do to protect themselves," she said.
RAD, which was started in 1989 by a security guard on the campus of Old Dominion University in Virginia, will certify men and women alike. Any woman can be certified, but men who do not have backgrounds in law enforcement must pass background checks and provide references.
Volunteers do not have to be athletes to be instructors, but the instructor training is more physically demanding than the regular classes. The training is a three-day, 30-hour session June 3 to 5. The training will include lecture material, physical techniques, a simulation exercise and testing. Once certified, instructors can teach the system anywhere.
For Kathy Wright, executive board member and staff instructor for RAD Systems, being an instructor means she gets to watch women become more confident and change their lives, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in large ways.
"The rewards are so far-reaching," Wright said. "It's a really amazing thing to be a part of from the instructor perspective."
Another benefit of the RAD System at Fort Lewis is that it can raise the sexual assault awareness in the community which aids in prevention, too.
"We all have to be aware of sexual assault, we all have to take an interest, we have to be active, we have to do something," Doyle said.
For more information on becoming a certified RAD instructor, contact Sandi Doyle at 967-5940 or sandra.doyle@us.army.mil.
Rachel Young: rachel.young5@us.army.mil

Page last updated Fri May 9th, 2008 at 17:36