SRU police sponsor rape defense classes

Published by adviser, Author: Stephanie Cheek - Assistant Campus Life Editor, Date: September 26, 2013

Every year in the news there is more about assaults taking place on different campuses and colleges.

This is the reason the Rape Aggression Defense or RAD program was created and offered to female students on campus.

“If a person gets involved in a situation, this program is to help them get out of the dangerous situation,” Lieutenant Kevin Sharkey of the Slippery Rock Campus Police said, “it’s a survival situation.”

According to Sharkey, the course is a total of 12 hours between three days and takes place at the Alumni House from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. For the first four hours, the class is mainly taught in a classroom setting before learning what to do in certain situations. The last two hours of the class is the simulation portion of the course, where students can put into action what they learned.

The instructors of the course include Lieutenant Sharkey, Specialist Wayne Cochran, Lieutenant Caitlin Corrigan, and Patrol Officer Jason Squatrito, all members of the Slippery Rock Police Department.

“We receive 30 hours of instruction and have to teach so many classes a year to maintain our certification,” Sharkey said.

While this specific RAD program is geared more towards women, many courses are taught that focus on men and children Sharkey explained. According to Specialist Cochran, he is certified to teach both the male and female version of the RAD course.

Sharkey explained that he hopes to make the class a credited course in the future. The course would be a full semester and give the instructors more time to work with students and also spread out the class to make it more feasible.

“We are supported by the administration and staff,” Cochran said.

Plus with the course being a more regular class, the instructors would be able to have their own space and classroom for materials and tools needed for the class, according to Cochran.

Until the course is discussed as becoming a credited class, the course is still going to be held throughout the semester. For this semester there are two more courses available, on October 27, 28 and 29, and on November 3, 4 and 5. There are also going to be two more held in the spring semester on February 3, 4 and 5, and on April 16, 17 and 18.

RAD is a free service that any female student is able to take advantage of.

“I feel like as women we always have to be aware of our surroundings,” Aleah Marx, 22, an Adapted Physical Activity Graduate student. “It was important for me to take the RAD classes because I want to feel prepared in case something would ever happen to me.”

Marx also explains that while the class taught her useful skills, it also left her feeling empowered and confident about being able to take care of herself

According to Cochran, a graduate of this course has a lifetime returner practice policy, meaning that they are more than welcome to attend another class at Slippery Rock or in a different location.

The class runs for a total of three days but if a student is unable to make one of the days they can still participate, and be caught up with the program, Cochran explained.

“I can honestly say everything that I learned in the classes were extremely useful,” Marx explained. “I have no doubt that everything I was taught could help me and every other person in the class get away from a dangerous situation.”

The class taught basic self-defense skills, Marx said, claiming she was also glad that she took advantage of the trained officers on campus that could teach her how to stay safe and prepared.

“I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone,” Marx said. “The atmosphere of the class is very comfortable and I do not have one complaint. Ladies…do it. You will not regret a single minute.”


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