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Marshall is protecting their female students against potential attacks

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With one in five college women being the victim of sexual assault, Marshall University and its Panhellenic Council aided in helping protect its female students through offering a Rape Aggression Defense Systems training Tuesday.

“This program really gives us an opportunity to help our women develop in a way that their not usually used to,” Panhellenic Council President Sabel Meadows said.

Sergeant Scott Ballou of the Marshall University Police Department is certified as a Basic and Advanced RAD Instructor for RAD Systems and instructed the women through a series of self-defense moves that they could use if in a potential attack situation.

“I’m hoping that they can take something with them,” Ballou said. “Even if it’s just ‘wow, maybe I need to be more aware. Maybe I need to think about what my options are in an attack situation’”

In the beginning of the training, Ballou had students from his self-defense class demonstrate how to get out of a potential attack situation. There four RAD trainers, including Ballou, as well as 12 self-defense students were there to assist the women through the moves they learned.

“I would say that it’s helped give me self-confidence mostly,” self-defense student Allison Miller said. “Whenever I walk around, I hold my head higher.”

Along with various RAD training offered on campus, Marshall also offers a self-defense course for credit hours instructed by Ballou. The class is offered in both the fall and spring semesters and has multiple time options.

After taking the course, Miller said that she feels confident that she is able to protect herself in a potential attack situation.

“If I look at someone it’s like ‘if you grab me, I’m going to hurt you,’” Miller said.

RAD trainers said learning the basic moves to physically defend oneself could make a world of difference, but the best weapon someone has on them at any time is their voice.

“The best weapon they have on them 24 hours a day, seven days week is their voice,” Ballou said. “Use it. Use it loud. If something happens, don’t give up. Keep going. Escape and survive is number one.”

Courtney Andrews can be reached at [email protected]

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