ASU officer teaches women how to defend themselves

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The Jonesboro Police Department has commendedthe woman that fought off her alleged attacker Thursday following an attemptedabduction.

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

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

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

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

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

Simpson and another trained officer teach the 12-hour RADclass, which is free to women locally. The first four hours are spent in aclassroom, where the women are taught things like how to be more aware of theirsurroundings.

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

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

"It's a good workout. It is a good stress reliever. I tell alot of the women, where else can you go to fight police officers withoutgetting in trouble?" she added with a laugh.

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

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

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

"Nine times out of 10, it's someone you know – whether it'sa 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 yoursurroundings. That's the main, main thing."

Simpson hopes the attempted abduction this week raisesawareness 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," shesaid. "If I can't get any more at that time, I'll hold it for one personbecause this is something that we feel like we don't need to turn anybody awayor turn anybody down."

To register or to find out more information about thecoursework, contact University Police by calling 870-972-2093 or by followingthis link.

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