Date: November 17, 2008
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, email@example.com
PNC Instructors Offer R.A.D. Training to St. Mary's Students
Purdue University North Central Police Officer Gary Kinney (left) conducts simulation training with a Saint Mary's College student as part of the Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) System class taught by Kinney and Sue Zahn, PNC Police dispatcher.
Westville – Purdue University North Central Campus Police representatives have been traveling to St. Mary's College in South Bend to teach students the Rape Aggression Defense System (R.A.D.).
PNC Police Dispatcher Sue Zahn and Officer Gary Kinney are certified R.A.D. instructors and are teaching four, three-hour class sessions to 16 St. Mary's College students.
St. Mary's College is an all-female college of 1,620 students. St. Mary's students requested their school provide them with self-defense training and Stan Klimczak, assistant director of Security for St. Mary's, began exploring what programs were available in the area. Thanks to a long professional relationship with Robert Gaekle, PNC chief of Police, Klimczak called to see if the PNC R.A.D. instructors were willing to teach the St. Mary's students.
The PNC Police have offered the R.A.D. training on campus since 2002. Each semester a class is offered free to all female students, faculty, staff, and female spouses, as well as women in the community.
R.A.D. is a national program that was founded in 1989 by a Virginia police officer. Training is available for girls and women of all ages and situations, but the PNC training centers on safety techniques that can be used by teenage and adult women. It is taught on more than 2,500 college and university campuses around the world. It is also taught by community police departments and women's resource centers.
According to Zahn, the techniques are simple and women of most any age or ability can utilize them effectively. That was why Klimczak found the program so compelling.
“It is important for every woman to know how to defend herself,” he said. “This class is empowering. It gives a young woman the confidence to know that she can defend and stand up for herself. These skills can be used anywhere. I hope that they carry the skills with them the rest of their lives.”
According to Zahn the R.A.D. training helps to make women aware of their surroundings and aware of behaviors of those around them. It helps them identify potentially threatening situations and know how to react.
Zahn noted, for example, there is a difference between dealing with someone who is angry but presents no physical harm and someone attempting an assault.
During the classes, participants practice different scenarios and possible responses.
“The simulations also have the ‘aggressor' present different situations,” said Zahn. And with many assaults occurring at the hands of people the victims know, that also presents additional challenges, she noted.
Being prepared also means practicing the R.A.D. techniques so that they become second nature. That is why participants are asked to practice outside of class.
Once the training session is complete, participants are reminded to keep their skills fresh. Once someone has successfully completed the R.A.D. training, the person may take their instructor-signed manual to any R.A.D. class and they will be allowed to join the class as a refresher course for free, said Zahn. At PNC some people take a portion of the class annually for this reason.
Zahn herself took the class prior to becoming an instructor.
“I tell the class ‘I know what you're going though,' ” she said. “R.A.D. is so easy and so effective. I want to make sure that everyone knows it.”
For more information about the PNC R.A.D. program contact the Campus Police at 219-785-5200 ext. 5220 or visit www.pnc.edu/pd/rad.html .