Female Williamsburg High School students will soon be getting a lesson in self-defense.
The Williamsburg Police Department plans to start offering Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) system, training first seniors at Williamsburg and then hopefully to other high school students as well.
“I think it is really important for the seniors, who will be transitioning from high school to college,” said Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird. “Sexual assault on college campuses is pretty high. I think it is important that they know this kind of stuff. In case it does happen, they will at least have the tools and some way to fight back.”
The Rape Aggression Defense system is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques.
The course includes several hours of workbook activities in addition to quite a bit of physical, hands-on training with instructors donning a padded suit.
“They will learn how to fight off an attacker with different defensive techniques. It is a really good course,” Bird said.
Angie Weaver, the department’s victim’s advocate, is a certified R.A.D. instructor along with Officer Mike Taylor and K-9 Officer Brandon Prewitt.
An orientation class was held last Wednesday at the school for female high school students in order to gauge interest in the program.
“If they get good participation then they are going to try and incorporate some of the lower high school grades,” he noted. “As this thing progresses, we hope to get some college students involved with it as well from the university.”
Bird said that the program is already active in Laurel County high schools, and Weaver is as an instructor in that program too.