CCSO hosts RAD women’s self-defense course

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2023

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The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office hosted the RAD women’s self-defense course on Monday night at Southern Union State Community College. 

Rape Aggression Defense System training, an internationally recognized organization, is a 4-day course with 3-hour sessions, which teaches women how to defend themselves in emergency situations. 

“In the world we live in today, you never know what to expect or what might happen … In any other classes, we don’t teach to stand up and fight somebody. We teach to be able to walk out alive, and there’s no right or wrong way,” said Certified RAD Trainer Macy Whorton. 

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Whorton ran the training with the help of Major TJ Wood from the sheriff’s office. 

“A woman must be able to defend herself and not depend on men or a man so it’s empowering not only emotionally but mentally,” Whorton said. 

Trisha Pike, of Valley, attended her second training on Monday. She decided to come back and take the course again with her best friend.

“It was very empowering,” Pike said. “It gave me a lot more confidence about being in a situation where maybe I was by myself and had to take care of myself or defend myself.”

The RAD approach focuses on simple techniques that people can remember and use effectively in emergency situations with aggressors. 

“They were easy, not overly complicated to where you’re like trying to remember. It was just very simple,” Pike said. “You could do it if you were scared.”

“It’s teaching women how to use their God-given gifts, their hands, their feet, your head and stuff of that nature,” Wood said. 

Wood and Deputy Jason Fuller attended a women’s self-defense training with the aim of bringing the knowledge back to their community. When they realized the training wasn’t as easily accessible, they started looking for alternatives. 

“When we started getting involved with RAD, we realized that this was a much better program — enjoyed the program and enjoyed what it taught and saw the benefits of it,” Wood said.

Wood, Whorton, Sgt. Keegan Daniel, Lt. Sandra Crim and Investigator Rachel Rivera joined RAD and become RAD-certified instructors. 

The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office works with Lee County, Opelika and Auburn University to host training sessions for the communities. All of the instructors in Chambers County and partnered with Chambers County are certified.

Founder Lawrence Nadeau created RAD in 1989. The training course is free and very inclusive. There is a course for children and seniors. There is also a keychain course. With over 11,000 certified instructors to date, the program has trained more than 900,000 women since 1989. 

However, the techniques that they learn in the class are exclusive. The trainers ask that participants not share them with their significant others or any potential aggressors because the element of surprise is important.

“Each individual situation is going to be different, and that person is going to have to decide what works best for them,” Whorton said. “So it is just important to be able to protect ourselves.” 

Pike tried to get her daughters to attend this week’s session. She recommends the training to anyone.

“I think it’s important for all women to be confident in being on their own and not having to be overly concerned,” Pike said.