ASU officer teaches women how to defend themselves - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

ASU officer teaches women how to defend themselves

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The Jonesboro Police Department has commended the woman that fought off her alleged attacker Thursday following an attempted abduction.

The incident has made many women wonder how they can better protect themselves.

Officers with the Arkansas State University Police Department offer monthly classes exclusively for women called RAD, which stands for Rape Aggression Defense.

The RAD program aims to provide realistic self defense tactics and techniques that women can use to protect themselves.

Cpl. Traci Simpson with UPD says once her students leave her RAD class, she hopes they can do everything the 29-year-old woman did Thursday to escape an attacker.

"My first reaction was, go girl!" said Cpl. Simpson upon learning the woman successfully fended off her alleged attacker.

Simpson and another trained officer teach the 12-hour RAD class, which is free to women locally. The first four hours are spent in a classroom, where the women are taught things like how to be more aware of their surroundings.

"I talk to them about when they're pulling in their driveway to look around their door area as they're pulling in, make sure no one's around," she said as an example.

The women spend the last eight hours of the course doing hands-on training so that they know how to use their body as a weapon if the situation should arise.

"It's a good workout. It is a good stress reliever. I tell a lot of the women, where else can you go to fight police officers without getting in trouble?" she added with a laugh.

Simpson says it's shocking the attack this week happened in broad daylight at a busy place like a mall, but it's far from surprising.

"It's just a power trip for them [the attackers]," Simpson said. "It makes them feel powerful, so they're always looking and thinking of ways to attack someone."

She also says more often than not, an attacker is someone the victim knows.

"Nine times out of 10, it's someone you know – whether it's a family member, somebody you've met on the street. Maybe you don't know them, but you see them quite a bit," Simpson said. "Just be aware of your surroundings. That's the main, main thing."

Simpson hopes the attempted abduction this week raises awareness and interest in her class, which she tries to teach once a month. Another session is scheduled in late June and still has several openings.

"I don't care if I have one person to call and want it," she said. "If I can't get any more at that time, I'll hold it for one person because this is something that we feel like we don't need to turn anybody away or turn anybody down."

To register or to find out more information about the coursework, contact University Police by calling 870-972-2093 or by following this link.

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