ARC to offer women’s self-defense classes


American River College will host a two day Rape Aggression Defense Class (R.A.D) on April 29 and April 30 for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. (Photo by Sharriyona Platt)

Sharriyona Platt

With April being sexual assault awareness month, American River College is providing an opportunity to girls and women age 14 and older to attend a two-day Rape Aggression Defense class (R.A.D.).

The classes will be held in the ARC practice gym on April 29 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and April 30 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The self-defense classes are being presented by the Los Rios Police, ARC counseling, and the Kinesiology and Athletics department.

The course includes an awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and risk avoidance discussion along with hands-on defense training.

“It’s only right that we offer these types of classes to students and help in keeping women from being a victim,” athletic coordinator Raye Maero said.

“It’s a great class where these women can become aware, become confident and empowered,” Maero said.

Attendees will learn defense against the most common strikes, methods to disable an attacker utilizing strength, lifestyle awareness and empowerment to prevent attacks.

ARC counselor Joe Sjolund discovered the R.A.D. systems program when EOP&S Cares Program solicited him to teach a self defense workshop for students.

Sjolund has served over 20 years as a counselor and has dealt with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

“When EOP’S Cares Program asked me to take on these workshops I was excited, so I looked for a nationally recognized program and discovered R.A.D.,” Sjolund said. “Since then, ARC has offered R.A.D. for roughly the last four years.”

The R.A.D. program is over 25 years old and is nationally certified at universities, community colleges, and independent locations across the U.S. and Canada.

Other faculty involved with the class will be ARC counselors Kim Herrell and Diana Allie, CalWORKS counselor Martina Molina-Kanae, and Los Rios Police Department detective Tanya Racki.

“We want to get as many women and girls involved as possible,” Herrell said.

All faculty involved went through the training and recommend women take advantage of this two-day class.

Maero said that when she went through the training it was great to know that she would know what to do to be able to get out of a threatening situation.

It is recommended that attendees dress for physical activity and tennis shoes are preferred.

There is a $20 fee for registered Los Rios students, faculty, and staff, and a $25 fee for outside community members.

“The fee goes toward keeping R.A.D. going,” Maero said. “The women will also get a booklet that has all the techniques they’ll learn at the class.”
Location and registration information can be found at the Business Services office in the Administration building or call (916) 484-8481 or (916) 484-8417/8820