BY ALEX ROSALES
Photo courtesy of The Chaparral
Growing up, you may recall your parents telling you that if you are ever bullied or mistreated either physically or mentally, to not stay quiet and to voice it. However, we have found in previous cases that individuals, more specifically women have been the #1 victims of rape and sexual assault and have unfortunately kept quiet.
Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement said, “For too long, survivors of sexual assault and harassment have been in the shadows. We have been afraid to speak up, to say ‘MeToo’ and seek accountability. For many, the consequences of doing so have been devastating.”
To help women and even men be better prepare themselves for situations like these, a COD professor created a course to help students be more aware. In 2015, Kinesiology Professor Wendy Ansley created the Women’s Self Defense course which is offered every Spring semester at COD. Certified through the Rape Aggression Defense Systems, students learn the strategies of risk awareness, reduction and avoidance tactics that will, if applied, decrease the chances of being assaulted as well as self defense skills that expands an individuals options if ever attacked.
Head Cross Country coach and instructor for Women’s Self Defense, Nellie Carrillo said, the most important thing for a woman to do is to be self aware and confident in who she is, so that she is never a victim.”[This class] is really to teach women how to defend themselves and in everyday life situations. Whether you’re caught off guard, or whether it’s some type of emergency, disastrous situation. You’re aware, you’re being present in everyday life, and you’re going to be ready for whatever comes your way,” said Carrillo.
Being a passerby by the class, you can hear the students yelling “no” and “stay back” endlessly in the pursuit of practicing self defense moves that would be useful during a predatory attack. Not only do the students go through the movements of self-defense woman on woman, but they have lectures where they join in discussion meant for them to learn as well as empower and uplift one another.
“When I was offered the opportunity to teach this class, I said yes. I want to be a part of this movement. I want to be a part of helping other women grow and helping them think about ideas that a lot of times we don’t think about these types of things until we’re older. Because when you don’t talk about it, you don’t know about it,” said Carillo.
Once a student is enrolled in this course, they are allowed the ability to continue participating in self-defense at local agencies that offer R.A.D. certifications. Agencies like Christopher’s Clubhouse a nonprofit organization, created by Mika Moulton that went on for 10 years to keep children and parents in the valley safe by teaching self defense. Other programs can be found through the national R.A.D. program locator by just selecting your residential state.
“I’ve learned so much to use my amazing body to do incredible things to protect myself. And also to believe in myself and embrace other women. I can use my voice in any dangerous situation because it is very powerful,” said COD student Irma Carrasco.
Men are also offered a Men’s Self Defense course that takes place every Fall semester. Be a part of the movement. “You can do this,” R.A.D. systems courtesy.