Kenzie Travers

Equinox Staff


“Somewhere in America, a woman is sexually assaulted every two minutes, according to the U.S Department of Justice” reads a Rape Aggression Defense System (R.A.D) pamphlet.

This physical defense program for women is offered in four sessions for free here at Keene State College beginning Tuesday, Nov. 6.

R.A.D for women is an international organization, in which KSC Campus Safety Officers, like Victor Malavet, instruct on college campuses.

Malavet, who has daughters of his own, explains why the class is important for women.

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“You never know what is going to happen, especially the woman, because students get drunk and are put in a situation they don’t want to be in. We give women the tools to defend themselves,” Malavet said.

He continues, “R.A.D. should not be mistaken for self defense, which is just an option. The purpose is to avoid being abducted.”

He explained that a man can try and take a woman somewhere by coming up from behind her and putting his arm around her or a boyfriend can grab a woman’s arm.

Malavet explained, “We put women in situations that can actually happen, and we give them the techniques so they have a chance to fight off that attack.”

KSC junior Johanna DeBari is on the Advisory Board for Mentors in Violence Prevention. The junior is also the vice president of Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Club, and is adamant about the awareness of self-defense on campus.

DeBari commented, “I think that it’s important for both women and men, simply because although women are the majority of people that you hear about being attacked, it’s an important thing to know how to protect yourself.”

DeBari continued, “I actually know a few people who have been attacked on campus here.  I would strongly recommend taking these classes because I don’t think you’ll regret it. You can never be too careful.”

Malavet explained the classes are taught in a private space with two instructors and taught in a circle.

“We get to go to a student and spend one on one time with them so we know they’re on the same page,”  he said.

According to Malavet, during the course, women learn to “develop and enhance the options of self defense,” according to the R.A.D. Instructional Objective. Once they learn, they will use their new techniques on full body suited aggressors during a simulation stage.

“You can do hands on practice of techniques you’ve learned from the course,” Ethan Kipnes, associate director of Campus Safety, said.

Malavet added, “It’s filmed, so afterwards we show the class and we love the response because the woman will say ‘I can’t believe I really did that! Peers are shouting and cheering at these women trying their hardest.”

In DeBari’s experience, she said she has learned that physical defense isn’t the only option.

She noted it’s also important to be aware of your surroundings.

“Don’t put your drink down at a party, don’t walk around by yourself; kind of the basics,” DeBari explained.

“Knowing the weak spots of the body [is also useful],” she added.

The R.A.D course also goes over ways that you can get noticed if being attacked.

“We teach them to verbalize so that others can hear” Malavet said.

He stated, “One word. That word is NO. We teach them different stances, such as the cautionary stance. We teach them to breath, it gives

you more power.”




DeBari’s work with MVP also advises students to be an active bystander.

“Intervene when you can but remember that you have to protect yourself,” she said.

“We range from topics like alcohol, signs of abuse, relationship abuse to stalking.”

“We give students tools to recognize seeing those situations, the techniques, how to approach the situation and list resources they have accessible to them,” DeBari added.

Campus Safety and the Counseling Center are main resources for these types of situations.

If women have had past experiences with being attacked, Malavet assures that the R.A.D classes are a safe and comfortable environment. “We can tell, if they feel uncomfortable and pull you aside. Some will share with the whole class their bad experience.”

The R.A.D classes begin on Tuesday, Nov. 6 and run Tuesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. each day through Nov. 15.


              Kenzie Travers can be contacted at



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