Auburn University’s R.A.D. Classes instill confidence and empowerment in female students

AUBURN, Ala.- Since 1998, Auburn University has been offering Rape Aggression Defense Programs, also known as R.A.D. to female students and faculty members.

The classes teach women self-defense techniques they can use both on campus and outside of campus. The classes are run by the university as well as the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

There six classes a semester, which feature both a lecture portion as well as a simulation portion where students are placed in scenarios where they are being attacked and have to fight their ways out.

Emily Baumstark, a freshman at Auburn is taking one of the classes. Baumstark said the classes have made a tremendous difference.

“Walking down the street, I feel more confident, Baumstark said. “If I’m alone or there are people down the concourse, I feel more confident in my own skin, knowing if something were to arise, I would be able to defend myself.”

“By taking this class, you have that confidence, that empowerment,” Auburn Campus Safety and Security Officer Keith Walton said. “You know how to protect yourself. You know if something happens to you, you can use these tools and techniques to get out of that situation that you are in because it’s all about the element of surprise to that attacker.”

The next round of classes will start on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m, at the Student Activities Center. The classes are for Auburn University female faculty and students. The cost of the course is $25, which covers the course workbook and is due on the first class.

Anyone interested in signing up can do so by emailing aurad@auburn.edu

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