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What can women do to better protect themselves against an attack?

Self-defense is the strongest weapon known to woman. Preparedness can better help a woman from becoming a victim of assault.

Equipping oneself with self-defense and rape aggression defense (RAD) strategies is a highly-proactive approach to resisting potential assault.

“I always advocate increased awareness and vigilance when it comes to keeping ourselves safe…whether it be jogging in the park, attending a party or having coffee with a friend,” said Emelyn de la Pea, Campus Diversity Officer & Director at the UC San Diego Women’s Center. “It never hurts to have more education and information when it comes to personal safety, which is why I think that taking a self-defense course is a good strategy to increase one’s options of personal safety tools.”

Increasing preparedness and defense mechanisms against predatory aggression and attacks can also help women to be ready in body and mind should the threat of an attack arise.

“Women and children of all ages should develop and enhance the options of self defense,” advised Steve Williams, California R.A.D./radKIDS director and instructor, who was teaching a RAD class at Poway High School when Chelsea King was abducted.

“Women and children, with training, can effectively stop violence upon themselves if they decide upon resistance as course of action. Understanding a predator’s actions, learning risk reduction skills, understanding the law and self defense and learning physical skills to escape violence are some basic options,” Williams said. “Developing a plan of action, using distraction techniques, understanding how predators use tricks, knowing your personal weapons and a predator’s vulnerable locations and avoiding panic are some others.”

The San Diego region offers a variety of programs to help educate and prepare women in the community. We’ve compiled a list of local resources to help women seeking self-defense education and instruction.

UCSD Rape Aggression Defense Course
Sexual Assault & Violence Prevention Resource Center (SARC)
Contact: sarc@ucsd.edu or (858) 534-5793
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R.A.D. Systems Basic Course
SDSU Public Safety / Police Department
Contact: Mike Duncan at duncan@mail.sdsu.edu or (619) 594-1990 ext. 2
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Prevention & Education Programs
Center for Community Solutions
Contact: (858)272-5777
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Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Course
San Diego Community College Police Department
Contact: (619)388-6411 or RAD@SDCCD.EDU
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Self-Defense for All Self-Defense & R.A.D. Education
Self-Defense for All
Contact: Charles E. Scott Jr. at selfdefenseforall@msn.com or (619) 994-0483
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– Offers private party & group instruction

Other Resources
R.A.D. Systems


Valerie Middleton is an SDNN intern.