The Chronicle’s View: Rape Awareness Course an Asset to the University

Although only two rapes were reported in the year 2000, no one could dispute more occurred that year and every year.

A person’s capacity to protect himself or herself from attackers is a vital part of peace of mind and community security, but particularly for college-age women.

Because of that, the U Police Department’s instituting the Rape Awareness Defense (RAD) System this semester is a necessary and laudable move. The Huntsman Center is also to be commended for providing space to conduct the class.

Simply because the U is an institution of higher learning, it does not follow that it is safe. On the contrary, with inadequate lighting and distant parking lots, women walking home late at night should protect themselves.

When tackling the issue of rape and self-defense, however, many suffer from the mistaken notion that “there’s somebody hiding in the bushes waiting to grab me!” signifies the typical rape scenario.

Stranger-danger rape occurs far less frequently than acquaintance or date rape. Because of this RAD focuses not merely on defensive maneuvers and throwing punches, but dating scenarios and handling sexual assault by acquaintances.

Women learning to protect themselves from acquaintance rape is a vital part of their genuinely protecting themselves against sexual assault?much more important than simply carrying a canister of mace or teaching them to twist an attacker’s thumb.

Only 10 women attended the class session that concludes tomorrow. Given that it was the first RAD session on campus, the small number should be a starting point for increasing the program’s participation.

RAD’s most impressive feature is its cost?a $15 lifetime fee. Very affordable, considering the benefits the course offers.

Female members of the U community should take advantage of the UUPD’s offering and enroll in the class session starting on April 23. Other on-campus agencies need to pitch in and support this program as well.