In 2013, the Amherst Lions Club and Milford Rotary Club joined forces to provide the Amherst Police Department with the nearly $3,000 needed to purchase the R.A.D. training suits which are used during the full-contact training sessions. The generosity of these two outstanding organizations will be continually realized as each new group of women receives the valuable training and sense of empowerment that this program provides.
The Amherst Police Department offers a free self-defense training program for women of all ages at different points throughout the year. The program, known as R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense), is self defense program that has been taught to more than 900,000 women since its inception in 1989. R.A.D is not a martial arts class, but rather, is a hands on program aimed at empowerment. RAD is a system that is designed to help women overcome the effects of sexual harassment and sexual violence by teaching awareness, assertiveness, risk reduction and avoidance, and physical defense strategies. R.A.D. allows women to acquire self defense education in a relatively short period of time through a progressive, building block format.
This accelerated skill building eventually culminates in actual demonstrations where both the participant and instructors wear full-contact padded suits. Self defense can be an empowering experience for women. In this class, women will learn basic confrontational principles like understanding reaction time, vulnerable target areas, personal weapons, postures of conflict, and the overall survival mindset. R.A.D. has developed specialized simulation techniques and equipment for use by certified R.A.D. Instructors. R.A.D. is the only self defense program to have been endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), the National Academy of Defense Education, the National Self-Defense Institute (NSDI), and Redman Training Gear.
Training programs are conducted by the Amherst Police Department’s three certified R.A.D. instructors, Captain Chad Blake, Officer Heather Blase and Officer Sarah Gacek. Scheduled training programs are held at least twice each year though our instructors are available to accommodate requests for specialized group sessions. Examples to date include programs arranged for Amherst Middle School staff, members of the Souhegan High School girls basketball team, and female sophomore students taking R.A.D. as a physical education elective. If you would like to participate in R.A.D. or schedule a specialized group training program, please contact one of our instructors.