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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

UPD, county sheriff to implement Rape Aggression Defense classes for students and county residents

Abby Funderburk

The Texas State University Police Department (UPD) and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office plan to implement Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes for the public before the end of 2024.

RAD is a form of training to prevent sexual assaults that includes awareness, risk avoidance and self-defense training.

“The mission of the RAD Systems is to establish an accessible, constantly improving and internationally respected alliance of dedicated instructors. These instructors, in turn, will provide educational opportunities for women, children, men and seniors to create a safer future for themselves,” RAD website said.

According to UPD Sgt. Rodrigo Manzanares, UPD previously offered RAD classes from 2007-12, but in 2012 Krav Maga self-defense classes, which is a form of self defense used in the U.S. military in hand-to-hand combat, and safety classes replaced the RAD classes due to budget constraints and class attendance issues.

“We needed to find something more effective, so we can present a lot of information in a more condensed time format,” Manzanares said.

The 2023 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report showed a 135% rise in rape between 2021 and 2022. In response to the increase, Manzanares said UPD is planning on restarting RAD courses, while also continuing its presentations and Krav Maga classes.

“We’re going to send officers to get certified in RAD training,” Manzanares said. “We’re looking at sending officers as early as summer and hopefully implement [RAD] soon after they get certified.”

Manzanares said RAD training should be open in the 2024-25 school year. He is hoping to launch it in fall 2024.

The Hays County Sheriff’s Department is also planning to launch its own RAD courses. Currently, the closest locations for RAD courses are in New Braunfels and Austin.

According to Sheriff’s Lieutenant Clint Pulpan, the sheriff’s department is sending four deputies to get certified to teach RAD classes over the summer, with hopes of launching the program by the end of the summer or in early fall.

“The requirement is one male and one female [instructor] per class,” Pulpan said. “So I’ve got two males and two females going and we’re going to start when they get back. I want to immediately start.”

According to Pulpan, the location where the course is held will be moved from location to location in Hays County to ensure as many residents as possible can participate. Pulpan said this means it could be held in San Marcos, Kyle or Dripping Springs for a few months at a time in each location.

The current plan is to make RAD courses free for all women who are 13 years old or older and who live or work in Hays County. Pulpan said if the demand is there, the program may eventually expand to include classes for males and senior citizens, but expressed some doubt in having classes for LGBTQ individuals, as RAD does not provide any training for such classes.

“I think we would probably try to do some poll or questionnaires to see if there interest [in the other courses],” Pulpan said. “I just assumed there would be an interest in women’s courses.”

Makena Burns, the vice president of Students Against Violence (SAV), said RAD courses can play a role in reducing sexual assaults, but they are not the best or sole solution. SAV is a peer education organization that offers resources aimed at violence reduction on and around campus.

“[Saying] this is our sexual violence prevention and [RAD] being all they have is not comprehensive,” Burns said.

Burns said RAD can play into victim blaming by shifting the blame of sexual assault on victims for their lack of training, instead of those responsible for the assault.

For more information on RAD classes at TXST, contact UPD at [email protected], or [email protected] to schedule one of the already existing classes for sexual assault prevention.

For information on RAD courses provided by the Sheriff’s office, follow the Hays County Sheriff’s Office @hcsotx, or call their community outreach program at 512-393-7800.

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