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Ferris to Offer Free Self-Defense Class to Arm Women with Confidence

Joy PaquetteFerris State University police officer Joy Paquette says every woman should be trained to defend herself, and the university is offering a free class to make that happen.

Paquette believes women will feel empowered to make decisions about their safety by taking her class, which uses the Rape Aggression Defense curriculum. RAD, the world’s largest self-defense program, has trained more than 250,000 women since it was developed in 1989 by a campus police officer.

Women ages 13 and older can register now for the two-day class, which will be offered from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10 at Ferris’ West Campus Community Center. 

“Every woman who takes this class will be confident and empowered,” Paquette said. “I’ve seen women who were very shy at first walk out a totally different person.”

The course is designed to teach students how to avoid dangerous situations and basic self-defense moves if they find themselves in one. 

“We teach different self-defense options and work through various scenarios,” Paquette said. “It’s all about technique, not strength.”

Skills learned in the RAD class are not a guarantee against preventing or being injured in an attack, but they provide women with options.

Rape Aggression DefenseAn attempted sexual assault on campus in October and last week’s abduction and sexual assault of a student at neighboring Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant are reason enough to be proactive.

“Ferris is a safe campus – Central is a safe campus – but that doesn’t mean things won’t happen,” Paquette said. “Unfortunately, the world we’re living in isn’t getting any better.”

Ferris’ Department of Public Safety has been offering the RAD program since 1999 and last summer received a $7,200 grant from The Ferris Foundation for new equipment used to protect participants during attack simulations.

Attendance is required at both sessions, because the training is progressive. All students are issued a RAD manual for reference and a lifetime free-return and practice policy, good anywhere the program is offered.

For more information and to sign up, call Ferris’ Department of Public Safety at (231) 591-5000 or stop by the office at 1319 Cramer Circle. The office is open 24 hours a day.