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News
Course offered to teach women self-defense


By Erin Schmidt
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday September 12, 2003

Women who want to learn self-defense have an opportunity to strap on some padding and start punching.

In order to help women defend themselves against sexual violence, the Oasis Center for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence is offering a 16-hour self-defense program to female students, faculty and staff, beginning tomorrow.

During the course, which will take place over the next two weekends, women will be taught about date rape drugs, and physical self-defense techniques. They will also be able to work on padded simulation attacks, said Tina Tarin, program coordinator at the Oasis Center and certified self-defense instructor.

"The idea that you can defend yourself is very powerful," Tarin said.

In 2002, 53 sexual assault cases were reported to the Oasis Center, said Irene Anderson, director of the Oasis Center.

Out of that number five cases were on the UA campus.

"The physical environment on the UA campus is a safe one," Anderson said. "It is however no safer or more dangerous then any other area in town."

Defense Class

Tomorrow, Noon 4 p.m., Campus Health

Kristen Hills, a psychology senior, said compared to Northern Arizona University, where she used to attend, the UA has a much safer physical environment.

"The UA is a lot more open," Hills said. "You can see around you a lot better, however, the campus does need to increase blue light safety."

But Anderson said that the biggest risk facing women might not come from strangers lurking in the shadows.

"Out of all cases that were reported to the center, only 18 cases involved a stranger," Anderson said. "The greatest risk of being raped is by someone you know."

Self-defense courses increase a woman's confidence and allow her to assert herself more clearly, she said

"If a women knows self-defense techniques she can stand up for herself and be able to communicate what she doesn't want," Anderson said.

Hills said she agreed that self-defense courses are important for women.

The course will teach us how to protect ourselves and how to use common sense," she said.

Anderson said there is no foolproof protection against sexual violence or assault. She said she urges women and men to be more aware of the situations they put themselves in.

She encourages females to walk with friends at night. She also encourages students to use the Safe Ride program, for their own protection.

Two certified self-defense instructors will teach the Rape Aggression Defense System (RAD) self-defense course beginning Saturday September 13 from 12 p.m. 4 p.m., Tarin said.

The course is being offered in three sessions.

Each session will meet for two weekends on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m at Campus Health Services.

RAD will be offering its second session beginning October 11. The third session will begin on November 15.

Each session will have a maximum of 20 students and will be taught by two instructors, Tarin said.

She said the UAPD would be working with the classes for the first two hours to teach participants how to protect themselves in and around their own home.

The UAPD will come back on the final day of the session for the padded simulation attacks, Tarin said.

The class is $40 and can be charged to student's bursar's accounts. Registration can be completed at the front desk of Campus Health Services.

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