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UWPD to train students in rape defense

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UWPD officer Gloria Galloway demonstrates techniques she will teach in the new women's self-defense class. The class is designed so women can show potential attackers that they wont be a helpless victim and prevent an attack from even occurring.

One in six women is a victim of rape or attempted rape during her lifetime in Washington state. In order to combat these statistics, the University of Washington Police Department is holding a women’s self-defense class. This will be the first program sponsored by the UWPD and endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA).

“We are hoping to provide the basic tools and understanding to increase the awareness and self confidence necessary to defend against an attack with a practiced plan of action,” Lt. Peter Celms said.

At the Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) class, women will learn how to identify what an attack may look like, sexual assault awareness and avoidance techniques, defense against abduction and how to avoid resembling a potential victim.

Celms explained the class was designed specifically for women on university campuses. The event is geared toward UW students, faculty and staff.

“It’s not a martial arts program,” Celms said. “It teaches realistic self-defense movements which require neither special skills nor years of practice to master. This program is designed to increase your self-confidence and awareness. It’s a practiced plan of action that is the key to survival.”

The class was created as a response to community requests as well as the chance to retrain an officer as a R.A.D. instructor. UWPD officer Gloria Galloway had previously been an instructor and was willing to go through recertification in March.

“We are very excited about this program as we had the opportunity to have one of our own police officers trained as an instructor,” said UWPD assistant chief Ralph Robinson. “Officers from the Tacoma branch campus will be teaming up to assist our officer/trainer … and give the women present a demonstration of some of the self-defense techniques.”

The program has already been implemented at the UW-Tacoma campus. UWPD at the Seattle campus hope to emulate the Tacoma program while also expanding it to serve the larger Seattle student body.

“It’ll be an ongoing program at the University for many years to come,” Celms said.

A demonstration of skills learned in the class will take place at 3 p.m. in Bryants Building, room 111 on Boat Street.

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