Rape, Aggression and Defense classes at UM

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network spotlights some frightening statistics on its website: every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in America. On average, college-age women are four times more likely to be the victim of an assault.

Recognizing the potential danger students face, the University of Miami’s Police Department offers two special self-defense programs for women only, including the intensive Rape Aggression Defense, or RAD, class.

“Although women may be physically capable of defending themselves, they must be prepared mentally to defend themselves,” said George Baixauli, UMPD crime prevention officer. “This course not only shows and instills physical combat skills, but develops muscle memory to ward off attackers.”

RAD is an internationally recognized women’s self-defense program that teaches the basic principles of safety awareness, risk reduction and practical physical defense techniques. Started in 1989, RAD’s objective is to develop a viable option for a woman who is attacked.

Since RAD began more than 7,000 certified instructors in America and Canada at 400-plus colleges have instructed more than 300,000 women. This is the only self-defense program endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, according to the UMPD website.

“I think this class is a great idea for women,” said UM sophomore Kim Sears. “We all know sexual assault is dangerous and being prepared mentally and physically will only help us if we are the victim in a sticky situation.”

The basic RAD program is offered four to five times a year, and class sizes vary from six to 19 students. The course consists of 12 hours of instruction divided into three sessions. UMPS stresses that this is not a martial arts training class.

The next RAD course is scheduled to begin Nov. 3 and ends Nov. 10.  The course fee is $35 for female students, faculty and staff.  For women who are not affiliated with the university, the fee is $45. UMPD will only disclose the exact location of the class to individuals who register through its website.

By registering for the course, you must commit to attend all three classes, police say. If you miss one, you may not attend any subsequent classes because the instruction builds upon itself.

Those who successfully complete Basic RAD may return to future classes free of charge as a refresher. There is also a 20-hour Advanced RAD course that builds on techniques and strategies from the Basic class, with such topics as defenses against edged weapons, firearms defense, prone defense strategies, ground fighting, multiple subject encounters and more.

RAD is one of two women’s self-defense programs offered by the university. The other, Self-Defense Awareness & Familiarization Exchange, or SAFE, is a two-to-three hour introductory program that provides women with risk awareness, risk reduction, personal safety information and a few basic physical defense techniques. UMPD considers SAFE as an excellent introduction to the more intensive RAD program.

SAFE classes cost $10 for UM students, faculty and staff, and $15 for non-affiliated individuals

To sign up for either program, visit<> and fill out the course registration and payment form. For more information, call the UMPD Crime Prevention office at 305-284-1105.

On the medical campus, contact Security Emergency Management Office at 305-243-9466 or

Christopher Watson may be contacted at

October 13, 2010


Christopher Watson

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