RADP teaches community defense

Women in the greater Farragut community learned how to

protect themselves by taking part in a Rape Aggression Defense Program.

The three-part program, hosted by town of Farragut in conjunction with Knox County Sheriff’s Office and The University of Tennessee Police Department, took place in Farragut Town Hall at 11408 Municipal Center Drive, Farragut. Sessions took place Mondays, April 18, April 25 and May 2.

“I wanted to walk to my car in a parking lot at night,” Diane Beckler, who attended the program, said.

“I want to defend myself when I go to college,” Inshira Bediaks, FHS student and attendee, said.

Stella Davis, attendee, said she and her daughter, Misty, were taking the course because a friend’s daughter was raped in college.

“I want [Misty] to learn the techniques,” Stella said. “I think it’s very important.”

“I’ve had a lot of folks who had different kinds of altercations,” Laurette Beekman, Knox County resident, said.

The landmark self-defense class is taught at colleges and universities in over 40 states and Canada, Chelsey Riemann, Farragut public relations coordinator, said. “The RAD System is comprised of easy to learn, proven and effective physical tactics that may enable a person to survive the violent encounter that awaits one in three women.”

It is a dynamic, hands-on program designed for the average woman, Riemann said. During the sessions, Lindsey Miller, instructor from UTPD, stressed awareness of one’s surroundings to reduce risk and using preventive measures to stay out of dangerous situations.

“Think of all the choices we may make,” Miller said. “If nothing else, [the program] will make you feel empowered to make choices.”

Participants learn hands-on techniques in the most safe, realistic way she can provide, she said.

“At the end of the basic program, women are encouraged to use their new techniques in a practical, controlled simulation exercise,” Riemann said. “UTPD employs multiple RAD certified staff and has offered basic physical defense to members of the university community since 1992.”

Miller said sexual assaults are the most under-reported crimes, as victims will blame themselves. Yet, she said, “Rape victims are more likely to defend themselves than victims of robbery or other assaults.

“Robbery may be traumatic but sexual assault is personal. [The perpetrator] is trying to take something you can’t replace.

“The most successful and often used strategy is a combination of verbal and physical resistance,” Miller said. “With every move, [the participant] will say ‘no.’”

For more information, contact Lauren Cox, Special Event and Program coordinator, at lcox@townoffarragut.org or 966-7057.