Laurier Brantford’s Special Constables are working to offer improved campus safety by offering R.A.D. self-defence training to Laurier Brantford female students.
The course is taking place on March 21 and 22 in a nine-hour training session. It is a free event with 20 spaces available.
“The training will cover self-defence techniques and situational tips,” explained James Yuhasz, Special Constable.
“The goal is to escape, not to go toe-to-toe with somebody,” adds Special Constable Tammie Maertens. After circulating the event on social media, students have expressed their concerns regarding the training, specifically two aspects; the name of the training and that it is only being offered to women.
The name of the training is R.A.D. which stands for ‘Rape. Aggression. Defence.’ Students have expressed concern with the name. “I have talked to other people and they found it very triggering and I found it very aggressive and scary. It’s off putting and I wouldn’t do it because of that,” said Rebecca Mazzarolo.
While the Special Constables acknowledge that the title may be triggering, “the name of the company is R.A.D. Systems of Self-Defence”, Maertens explains.
“It is for women only because we don’t want to have a man, who could potentially be a rapist, come in when we are teaching people how to defend themselves,” said Maertens.“Another reason is that there is a lot of close contact when we are training, and for a woman who has potentially been abused before, being partnered with a man may not be beneficial. This is for women to get their power and to know their inner strength and to foster that and help them bring it out.”
Yuhasz adds, “We aren’t saying that violence against women is the only issue. Any violence is wrong, whether it is against women, men, children or anything. This is just a specific program for safety against women that we’re having.”
The program was made possible by the Women’s Safety Committee on campus. Yuhasz explained, “A couple of years ago, we applied for funding through the Women’s Safety Committee. The Women’s Safety Committee gives out funds for projects and initiatives that are specifically geared towards issues facing women.”
The training has been offered approximately four times in the past which has made it a recurring favourite within the department. The training comes from the United States. It has been running for 21 years, with 9,000 training instructors. It is the highest ranked training session of its kind in the world in comparison to national standards.