Dartmouth helps women defend themselves - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Dartmouth helps women defend themselves

Hanover, New Hampshire - January 18, 2011

Instructors from R.A.D.-- which stands for Rape Aggression Defense-- are teaching a group of men and women on the campus of Dartmouth College to become teachers themselves.

"They need to do their technique deployment. They are going to be tested tomorrow on their practical aspect of it. They are going to be going through a simulation scenario tonight. They also have to take a written exam," instructor Pat Iapicca explained.

Anti-violence advocates say one in every six college-aged women will report being a victim of a sexual assault. And the experts here say the number of rapes taking place could be higher.

"Unfortunately they are out there and the number that are being reported is far below what is actually happening," Iapicca said.

And that includes places like Dartmouth.

"I decided to take the course because sexual assault is a problem on Dartmouth's campus and it's one the administration is working to address. And, I would like to be part of the active solution," said Callista Womick, a sophomore.

At the end of this intense 3-day, 30-hour course the students will become certified instructors. Risk reduction, avoidance techniques and 41 physical maneuvers are part of the package, teaching women how to defend themselves. Women like Brittany Garcia who personally knows the affects of sexual violence.

"To be able to work past them to help them on their healing. To help them start to heal and to become more comfortable in themselves," Garcia said.

"And to let them know that no matter what situation they find themselves in, either social, or whenever they feel threatened, that they can do something," said Aryana Jacobs, a senior.

And of course Dartmouth is not the only college coping with the issue of sexual violence. But Dartmouth officials say they hope this course is one solution to the problem.

"It's really important for women to learn self-defense and learn empowerment so hopefully we can reduce the numbers," said Jennifer Murray, who works at Dartmouth.

Instructors say the best fight is the one that you have never been in. So 90 percent of the techniques that are taught here are to avoid altercation all together.

Several different people on campus helped bring the instructors' class to Dartmouth, including President Jim Yong Kim. Kim has said that taking on sexual violence is a priority.

Adam Sullivan - WCAX News

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