Long Beach State’s University Police Department is hosting a Rape Aggression Defense course this October for women on campus and in the community. The four-day training program will teach “easy-to-learn” strategies for self-defense.
According to UPD Capt. Richard Goodwin, the department is aware of the uncomfortable and dangerous situations women can experience. The department is doing what it can to better prepare women for worst-case scenarios as a result.
“Our students come from all over the world… they’re getting [used to] a whole new environment, and most especially a whole new campus,” Goodwin said. “We have what we call the ‘red zone,’ which is the first few months of school. That’s a period of time where we get more reports of sexual assault and sexual battery.”
R.A.D is led by UPD officers and nationally certified instructors who are specialized in women’s self-defense. The course begins by educating women on awareness and risk reduction, then advances to defense training.
Julia Avina-Cruz, a social work masters student, said she feels that taking part in the program would help her feel safe while walking around CSULB.
“I haven’t been [on campus] at night, but I know from a colleague how scary it can be,” Avina-Cruz said. “[Her colleague] takes into consideration the parking and how far it is to the library. I don’t know what it feels like yet, but I would be interested in [R.A.D]. I think it would help.”
Other students said the course can be beneficial, but some didn’t agree that the campus needed it. Amanda Hadley, a junior history major, said she is generally comfortable while being on campus.
“I’ve taken [a self-defense] course before and I think it’s smart for all women to take one,” Hadley said. “However, I think the application of self-defense techniques would be more for my life off-campus. I feel safe at CSULB.”
Goodwin encouraged all students to attend R.A.D. whether they are concerned with campus safety or not. He said the department wants women to be prepared for anything they may face during the “red zone” period of the semester.
The four-day Rape Aggression Defense course will take place on Oct. 8, 10, 15 and 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and all four days are required.
To register or learn more about R.A.D., visit the website or call (562) 985-4896.