Madison Polkowitz / Gavel Media

In Defense of Self-Defense

Some colleges require that students have a certain number of volunteer hours before they graduate. Most colleges like Boston College have certain core classes that must be completed in order for students to get their degree. There is no doubt that core classes or volunteering help shape the character of young minds, but are we missing something along the way? Should more be required of us as students to be able to walk across the graduation stage?

Certain classes, extracurricular activities, or volunteering opportunities help us gain knowledge and teach us about the importance of ethics and morality, while a requirement like a self-defense class would help us learn about the importance of physical safety.

With the alarming statistic that one out of every six American women and one out of every 33 American men will have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her or his lifetime, self-defense is a skill that can keep people safe in a terrifying situation.

Self-defense classes are becoming more popular around the country, particularly on college campuses, especially when one considers the fact that 54% of sexual assault victims are between the ages of 18 and 34. One of the more popular programs is known as the RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) program. The RAD system has been serving communities since 1989 and was created by Lawrence N. Nadeau. The program’s main objective is to “develop and enhance the options of self-defense, so they may become viable considerations to the woman who is attacked.”

Here at BC, the course is offered through the Boston College Police Department for free. Once students take the course, they are welcomed into the RAD family and are able to take the course again for free, even after they graduate. The course is not limited to females, as males are welcome to take the class as well. The program at BC teaches basic self-defense skills and works to increase the confidence of all participants in their ability to fight back against a perpetrator.

Self-defense classes have also become popular among high school and middle school students. One program, Model Mugging, reports that of the 221 graduates of the program who experienced a physical attack since taking the program, 214 (97%) of them successfully fought off their attacker, even long after completing the course.

There are clear benefits to taking self-defense classes, and college students in particular do not have to travel far to attend the growing number of classes that are being taught on campus. More and more colleges around the country are offering defense classes for its students and people in the surrounding area. That begs the question then, if our universities are trying harder than ever to keep their students safe, why isn’t a program like a self-defense class required of us all?

For more information about the self-defense classes here on campus, click here.

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