ASUA to sponsor self-defense workshop for women
Thursday October 18, 2001
Sexual assault is a crime of opportunity, said Matt Sanders, assistant director of the Oasis Center. Rape committed by strangers is unpredictable because they watch people for vulnerabilities they can exploit, but most people are assaulted by people they know, he said.
A University of Arizona Police Department spokesman said people should educate themselves and friends on a plan of action to prevent acquaintance or date rape.
"Be aware of your surroundings," said Cmdr. Brian Seastone of the UAPD. "Report strange and unusual activity."
Seastone also said that to prevent students from becoming victimized, UAPD puts on self-defense classes throughout the year, when at least 15-20 people express interest.
Today, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona is sponsoring a self-defense class for women in order to address the issue that women are not helpless against violence, said ASUA Sen. Jessica Patze.
"It's also encouraging to have a female instructor because you can see the moves being done by a female," Patze said. "It's really easy to see a guy beat up a guy, but a woman can show you how to really move."
Patze also said because of the sexual assault on Oct. 3, the class will probably be more appreciated.
"When I heard about (the Oct. 3 incident) I thought it was really scary," said undeclared freshman Sarah Bach. "I was like 'oh my God, I didn't think something like that could happen.' The campus has always been pretty safe."
Bach, who has lived in Tucson all her life, said she always walks in groups of friends at night, and has always felt safe in her off-campus home.
But students who feel their homes are not safe can contact the Tucson Police Department, which has begun to check students' houses upon request in order to find possibly unsafe situations.
"(My roommates and I) always lock our doors," said Sandy Weller, a molecular and cellular biology senior, who said she usually feels safe on campus. "And we have a big dog that doesn't bite but looks really scary."
Only three people on the UA campus reported sexual assault in 2000, according to UAPD crime statistics. But Sanders said 79 people came to the Oasis Center from June 2000 to July 2001 to report that they had been sexually assaulted.