For two decades, the Rape Aggression Defense and Resisting Aggression with Defense programs have helped people learn valuable defense skills.
The programs, sponsored by the University of Central Missouri’s Department of Public Safety, teach techniques for de-escalating situations and defensive maneuvers. The UCM program is part of a national program founded in 1989. It has instructors across the country.
Classes are split by gender, with the RAD Basic class for female participants and RAD for Men for male participants. Advanced sessions, like the RAD Keychain and RAD Advanced, have been offered in addition to two previous sessions dedicated to children.
Sgt. Scott Lewis, an instructor for the classes, said over 1,000 participants have passed through the various courses. Nearly 120 sessions have been held since the program’s inception at UCM in 2001.
Lewis said the 12-hour basic courses are split between three nights and teaches techniques specialized to each gender.
“In each session, they build on what they learned before,” Lewis said. “And then they can actually use it in the final night to actually use on an aggressor.”
Terry Butler graduated the RAD for Men course in fall 2018 before taking a position with the Warrensburg Police Department as a lab technician. Butler said the skills learned have come in handy.
“I’ve used it a few times because we’ll have an angry person come in wanting something,” Butler said. “They’re not angry at us. They’re just angry. And I’ve used the same kind of techniques to calm them down just by talking.”
RAD classes are scheduled twice per semester. RAD Basic classes will be held Mondays starting October 21 and RAD for Men on Wednesdays starting October 16. All RAD classes are free and can be repeated. The classes are held at the Central Missouri Police Academy at 200 Ming St.