PNC R.A.D and S.A.F.E. Classes Open to Community Women

By: Purdue University Northwest Last Updated: August 25, 2011

Visit the PNC Website
1401 S US 421
Westville, IN 46391
Phone: 219-785-5200

The Purdue University North Central Campus Police Department invites women in the community age 13 and older to attend its Rape Aggression Defense System (R.A.D.) and Self Defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange (S.A.F.E.) classes.

PNC has offered the R.A.D. training without charge since 2002. R.A.D. is a national program, founded in 1989 by a Virginia police officer, which teaches simple, yet effective safety techniques that can be used by teenage and adult women. The classes are taught by PNC Police Department certified R.A.D. instructors. The R.A.D. program offers both basic and advanced classes.

S.A.F.E., also taught by Campus Police personnel, educates women on how to protect themselves and how to become more aware of their surroundings. It introduces five simple, non-strenuous defensive techniques. Each participant receives a portfolio with additional awareness information.

PNC Police Dispatcher Sue Zahn is a certified R.A.D. instructor. She explained that the R.A.D. techniques are simple and women of most any age or ability can utilize them effectively.

"It is important for every woman to know how to defend herself," she said. "This class is empowering. It gives a woman the confidence to know that she can defend and stand up for herself. These skills can be used anywhere. And women will carry the skills with them the rest of their lives."

During the past fiscal year, 76 women attended the R.A.D. and S.A.F.E. classes. Participants ranged in age from 13 to 80 plus years.

The PNC Police Department offers free R.A.D. and S.A.F.E. classes to all female students, faculty, staff, and female spouses, as well as women in the community. In recent years, it has gone off campus to offer "R.A.D. on the RoAd" and "S.A.F.E. on the Road" classes to any group of females who would like to have classes taught in their local school, office, church, or meeting site. If a group does not have the appropriate space needed for the class, the women will be invited to the PNC campus. The only requirement is that there be a group of at least six and not more than 12 women.

Upcoming classes include training sessions for Pop Warner cheerleaders, Girl Scouts, members of the American Association of University Women and St. Andrews Church, Valparaiso. The PNC police will travel to surrounding counties to teach classes as well.

PNC police taught R.A.D. techniques to female students at Saint Mary's College in South Bend. Nationally, R.A.D. is taught on more than 2,500 college and university campuses around the world.

The R.A.D. program offers both basic 12-hour and advanced 18-hour sessions lasting four and six days each. S.A.F.E. offers programs lasting 2 hours and is designed to prepare participants for R.A.D. training.

The training helps to make women aware of their surroundings and aware of the behaviors of those around them. It helps them identify potentially threatening situations and know how to react.

She noted, for example, there is a difference between dealing with someone who is angry but presents no physical harm and someone attempting an assault.

Zahn herself took the R.A.D. class prior to becoming an instructor.

"I tell the class 'I know what you're going though,' " she said. "R.A.D. and S.A.F.E. are easy and effective techniques. I want to make sure that everyone knows it."

Class participants will practice different scenarios and possible responses. R.A.D. participants are asked to practice the techniques outside of class so that they become second nature.

A past R.A.D. participant commented, "R.A.D. gave me the confidence in my ability to face a terrifying situation and to be able to defend myself. I feel more secure in my daily life because of the things I learned in class."

For more information about the PNC R.A.D. program contact the Campus Police at 219.785.5200 ext. 5220, or visit