Rape Aggression Defense
Waubonsie Valley High School students are using their most powerful weapon to defend themselves in a situation where they could be sexually assaulted – their voice.
“One, it demonstrates your confidence. Attackers typically want somebody who is weak, they don’t want somebody who is going to fight them,” said PE teacher Lacy Woulfe. “Also, you are trying to gain attention. If you’re at a party and something is happening in one room maybe somebody outside of that room can hear you and can come in to help.”
Rape Aggression Defense, or R.A.D is a self-defense training class for junior and senior girls to teach them how to protect themselves.
“It’s all about trying to get away because their number one goal is to escape. They’re not learning how to fight in a situation but how to get out of holds if they’re being held or restrained,” said Woulfe.
According to Woulfe, 90 percent of the time self-defense is being aware and avoiding situations, while physical defense is necessary 10 percent of the time.
The physical part of the class shows the girls different strikes, kicks, and other self-defense moves, while the classroom portion covers topics like domestic violence, human trafficking, and risk reduction.
“I think my biggest takeaway is that you need to make sure you reduce your risk which means being aware of your surroundings, which is something really easy to be caught up in the moment,” said senior Rianna. “Just being on your phone and walking, making sure I’m always aware of when I’m doing something so I know who’s around me and what situation I could be put in.”
To end the class, students are tasked with making a t-shirt for the Clothesline Project.
It’s open to the whole school for students and staff to write out their story or something inspirational.
“We want to bring awareness to the school of the issue of sexual assault,” said Woulfe. “We want to bring awareness to others in the school who have not taken our class that they’re not alone if they are a survivor and may be feeling alone.”
Those not comfortable with making a shirt can write out a positive statement on the empowerment wall.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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