Starting in the fall Trinity will begin to offer, self defense classes for physical education credit. According to TigerPaws, the course titled “Rape Aggression Defense” will count towards the understandings for physical education as a one -credit course.
The class has been part of the Trinity curriculum in previous years and is now being reinstated with help from the Trinity University Police Department. The class was sponsored by TUPD and was a free, three-day course.
Corporal investigator Laura Hernandez is one of the instructors for the course next semester.
“It’s RAD. It’s nationwide. It’s a nationwide self-defense system that was created for civilians. Primarily, it started off with women and self defense,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez has been trained and certified with RAD women to educate others, the class will be offered to females next semester looking to learn self defense and protection.
“It’s a self-defense system where it teaches women of all ages and all groups whether you’re tiny or whether you’re a big-boned girl or whatever,” Hernandez said. “It teaches all women how to do your basic self defense system. So awareness: we do techniques. So the class itself teaches classroom instructions.”
The class offers more than just standard fighting techniques, according to Sylvia Villarreal the telecommunications supervisor for TUPD and the other instructor for the course.
“It’s not just a self-defense class. We teach them how to avoid abduction and what to do in the event that they are abducted. We teach them to use various parts of their bodies, their legs, their arms, their hands, their heads,” Villarreal said.
“Rape Aggression Defense” primarily teaches individuals how to fight but also how to escape and survive the situations they are presented. According to the RAD website the individuals learn how to “create a safer future for themselves.”
“Their mission is to strike and get away. It’s not to stay and fight, it’s to get away. It’s not for you to stay and fight, that’s why you call us. We’ll do that and we’ll take care of that,” Hernandez said.
Previous RAD seminars have been taught at Trinity with low attendance. The seminars will be expanded out into a semester long curriculum.
“Typically it’s 24 hours, the first two days are typically classroom instruction, we bring other speakers like Rape Crisis Center and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. We partner with them. They give more information about awareness and stuff like that, that has a lot to do with things when you’re out and how to be aware of your surroundings,” Hernandez said.
The students enrolled in the course will be educated on the various techniques throughout the semester and will get the opportunity to apply the skills during their final.
“Their final will be a simulation night where they will come in and each student will have to run through five or six scenarios regardless of what it is, they might have one attacker or two attackers. And basically being able to use everything they learned from the semester and being able to apply it to that evening during their scenarios,” Villarreal said.
The push to reinstate the seminar as a course came from both Hernandez and Villarreal along with chief of police Paul Chapa.
“I think it was really just a combination of all three of us. Just as a team I really don’t think it was just one person’s idea. I think it was all of us brainstorming,” said Hernandez. “I’m really fortunate in that chief really supports us.”
Hernandez noted the importance of taking the class and being prepared for situations prior to them occurring.
“Unfortunately, I’ve had several survivors talk to me and one thing they always say is, “˜I wish I had taken a class like that.’ And it’s really sad to say that they call me after the fact. That’s what I don’t want. I don’t want these young ladies to call me after. I want them to be able to protect themselves.”