R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) Training by Alina Lopez 

Sexual assaults are the most prevalent crimes in the U.S., yet the most underreported. The reasons could be shame or self-blame by the victim. Rape is never the victim’s fault and it’s important to break those taboos of the past and have victims come forth to report incidents. Sexual assault is an act of aggression and dominance and not of any sexual desire. It’s a violent crime in which the victims are usually threatened with a weapon, force, or verbal threats to harm them or their family.  

Even though most victims of rape or sexual assault are women, it is not limited to women, as men and children can be victims too. According to statistics, 1 in 6 women in the U.S. will be raped annually and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempt or complete rape. The attacks have nothing to do with what the victim was wearing, so in the case of women, we have to debunk that myth of provocative clothing being a factor in the attack. Another myth is of the perpetrator lurking behind a bush waiting to lunge at its victim. Although cases of rape by strangers do happen and we must always stay alert and aware of our surroundings, most victims knew the attacker. These are the cases of date rape, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, etc.  

Since 1989, the R.A.D. program has trained more than 900,000 women nationwide to acquire self-defense education in a rather short period of time. The programs are offered to women, children, men, and senior citizens with classes targeted to each group. The curriculums include educational components comprised of lectures, discussions, and physical resistive strategies which are taught by certified R.A.D. instructors.   

Our organization is partnering with R.A.D. to offer classes locally to residents ages 15 and up. The classes will be held three days a week for three hours each day. We will provide more information on that when we have straightened out all the logistics behind it. At the moment, we are starting with certifying officers from the Miami Dade Police Department Midwest and Hammocks Districts and Crime Watch staff. M.D.P.D. Community Affairs Bureau will be covering the North end of the county and one officer from the M.D.P.D. South District will be coordinating training accordingly. The courses consist of PowerPoint training on the first day, self-defense techniques on the second, and applying the techniques learned on the third day. Participants use the methods learned on an instructor who is wearing “The Suit”, a special outfit designed for the R.A.D. program to use in training scenarios.  

The funding for these lessons were made possible by Miami Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Miami Dade County Commissioners.  

With increase in awareness of sexual assault and by lifting the stigma associated with it, we can encourage victims to come forward and prosecute attackers while allowing authorities to provide victims with the assistance needed to heal. However, it is important that we protect ourselves and be armed with the knowledge and techniques to fight back in the event of an attack.  

For more information on the R.A.D. program, visit www.rad-systems.com.  

You can contact our office at 305-470-1670 or visit our website www.citizenscrimewatch.org. 

Until next time, be aware, make good choices, and be safe! 

Written By: Alina Lopez

Citizen’s Crime Watch of Miami-Dade

Citizens’ Crime Watch is a nonprofit county-wide crime prevention program funded by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, grants and donations.