Self-defense training more important than ever

R.A.D. training is a step in the right direction.


Illustration by Hannah Lesner

Abby Williams, Managing Editor

Our news staff members come from all sorts of different backgrounds and have a wide array of differing opinions, but we can all agree on one thing: the Rape Aggressor Defense Systems program should be introduced to Utica High School.

The Rape Aggression Defense Systems program, or R.A.D. program, is a self-defense program offered to men, women, children, and seniors that teaches people different strategies to use if they are in a situation where they need to fight back against an attacker.

Officer Leslie Heisler of the Shelby Township Police Department has started teaching R.A.D. classes to  teenage girls, and our staff believes these classes should be introduced to Utica High school.

Our staff thinks self-defense is an extremely critical skill, especially in today’s world. Violence in our schools has unfortunately become more common, and this has induced fear in many students that would not know how to defend themselves if they found themselves in a situation where they would need to fight back.

Many of our staff members feel strongly about self-defense programs being introduced to Utica due to recent events, such as the school shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30. Seeing events such as this in the news highlights the fact that no one is one hundred percent safe from this happening to them, which further amplifies the importance of students being taught self-defense. We want to be as prepared as possible if something like this were to happen to us.

Parts of our staff believe that this program is especially important for women, as women are often the victims of sexual assault and rape. It empowers women and gives them the ability to fight back instead of making them feel defenseless and afraid.

According to RAINN, one out of every six women in the United States have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, and 82% of juvenile rape victims are female, making these classes critical to women, especially teenage girls. We don’t think it’s right that women often feel unsafe in public places and fear that things such as this will happen, so introducing classes like this will help women fight back.

We think having these classes at Utica is a better idea than having them only at places outside of school grounds, as it makes the classes more accessible to students. Students could feel more encouraged to go since the classes take place somewhere they’re familiar with, rather at a place they have never been to before. Plus, the classes will be with other students, and being with people you already know is less intimidating than being with strangers.

Having it at school will also bring more attention to the classes. If it’s at school, more students will be talking about it. A class like this outside of school may not get as much attention, as it’s not being promoted to the same audience.

The R.A.D. program being introduced to Utica is an idea that every member of our staff supports for multiple different reasons. It’s important that we learn to defend ourselves in every environment and situation we find ourselves in, as we never know when we may need it.