Registration is open for the Middle Tennessee State University Police Department’s annual Rape Aggression Defense Systems, or RAD, course.
The free training is available to women and girls ages 13 and older from the campus community and the general public, including women unaffiliated with MTSU. The six classes that make up the training will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays from Oct. 12 through Nov. 16, with location details available upon registration.
Those interested must register in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and contact number information. Sgt. Jason Hurley, one of the course instructors, said if anyone has issues registering via email, they should call the police non-emergency number at 615-898-2424.
No previous experience or background in physical training is required to attend, said Master Patrol Officer Katelynn Adams, the second course instructor. Attendees can expect to learn realistic self-defense tactics and techniques with hands-on instruction and practice as well as risk awareness, reduction, recognition and avoidance training.
For both Hurley and Adams, being a course instructor is personal.
“I feel a personal responsibility to provide the knowledge and experience that I have to help survivors overcome their fear, depression and anxiety,” Hurley said about serving victims of sexual assault and abuse during his decade at the campus police department. “When I see those faces turn to happiness, joy, confidence and empowerment and see their self-respect regained, nothing is more rewarding to me.”
Adams, with the force since 2018, is an assault survivor herself.
“I saw how much the women in the class grew in both skill and confidence, and I wanted to be a part of that,” she said. “Our campus community is filled with young women getting out into the world by themselves for the first time…. It is a great chance for them to branch out and explore, but, unfortunately, a college campus can also provide an opportunity for crime.
“If something we teach these women can help prevent that for them in the future or helps them heal from a previous situation, that means everything to me.”
— Stephanie Wagner (Stephanie.Wagner@mtsu.edu)