Rape Aggression Defense classes, hosted by SJSO, open to local businesses

Published 12:11 am Saturday, June 30, 2018

RESERVE — Katie Klibert of Reserve Telecommunications thought she knew the basics of self-defense.

Her perspective changed when she and nearly two dozen other female coworkers and family members signed up for the Rape Aggression Defense course offered through the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The experience was eye-opening, according to Klibert, revealing the potential of a woman’s body and voice as protection from violent situations.

“This was really and truly an incredible learning experience,” Klibert said. “People who didn’t want to take the course initially were signed up before the last session after seeing how others responded to it. By the end, we felt empowered and safe, and that is a valuable gift for all women.”

Detective Ann Taylor said the RAD course is open to all females in the community, whether participants sign up individually or as part of an organization or business.

Inviting RTC and a local Girl Scouts troop to enroll was aimed to increase group participation, Taylor said, adding RAD classes have received positive feedback.

“We’ve gotten a lot of success out of the program,” Taylor said. “Its structure is well known around the world and utilized in most colleges.”

The RAD course is open to all ages, Taylor said, though girls 16-years-old and younger must provide a parent release and participate with a family member.

Spouses and daughters of male RTC employees were recently invited to join the course, according to Klibert.

Through three separate sessions, the girls and ladies learned situational awareness techniques and self-defense mechanisms without the use of tools or weapons.

Klibert and Taylor said lessons are not shared in detail outside of classes, which are conducted with a degree of confidentiality.

Classes can be held at business sites by request, though the location is not advertised.

“If we advertise the location and a perpetrator comes in to see what they are learning, it defeats the purpose,” Taylor said. “We won’t video tape the sessions, and the time and place will only be known to the participants.”

The Sheriff’s Office hosts two types of RAD classes, including an introductory one day, 8-hour course and a 12-hour course that encompasses two sessions.

According to Taylor, the 12-hour course goes more in depth by incorporating staged simulations.

Breaks and refreshments are included.

Scheduled RAD classes will take place Aug. 4, Sept. 15 and Nov. 17. Businesses and organizations are invited to schedule a session at any time by calling 985-359-8686 and asking to speak with Denise Bertrand.

Klibert said the Sheriff’s Office is flexible and easy to work with in scheduling.