Campus police officer Erica Scott recently completed instructor training in the Rape Aggression Defense System, also known as RAD. Held July 7 through 9 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, the training focused on teaching law enforcement officers to train women how to protect themselves from attackers.
During the training, Scott learned defensive techniques and went one-on-one with the RedMan, an instructor wearing a red, padded suit made for defensive tactics training. She also took a written test and learned practical tips to keep you safe at home.
“[They] taught different ways to answer your phone, what to look for around your home, information to give out over the phone, what not to give out over the phone,” she said. “It’s really helpful. I love it.”
In fact, a lot of the techniques are verbal and not physical, Scott said. “People think that when you protect yourself you have to do a lot of grabbing and punching, but there’s not much to it. [It’s] being cautious, not being afraid to walk from one end of the campus to another. [Being] more confident [and] knowing they can protect themselves.”
Now that she’s a certified instructor, Scott, who has been at Sweet Briar for four years and is a graduate of the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy, will teach women at the College the same techniques. Classes, which have been offered at Sweet Briar for the past 10 years, will be offered again this fall.
“We are a women’s college and it’s good [to know],” she said. “We do have male visitors and it’s good for [women] to know how to defend themselves. We have out-of-state women here who might have had an incident [at home]. It’s good for them to know ‘I can do this for myself. I can defend myself.’ ”
According to Campus Police Chief Willie Neal, there have been few reported incidents in the school’s history requiring students to use defensive tactics, but that doesn’t mean knowing how to protect yourself won’t come in handy someday.
“When that particular course came to our attention, we thought it would be good to add to our crime prevention program on campus,” Neal, who has been chief for more than 20 years, said.
“We thought that course … would be something a student could use when she was away from Sweet Briar. As a matter of fact, a past RAD student who went abroad in England came back to tell us that she actually had to use it in England and it worked.”