WEBER COUNTY, Utah -- R.A.D – Rape Aggression Defense.
“They usually come in as mice and leave as lions,” said Emily Cox, Lead Instructor for the Weber County Sheriff Office's RAD Program.
She has been involved with the program for years.
“I was a survivor of a rape when I was 18 years old; for me this was personal,” Cox said.
As a R.A.D. instructor, Cox is able to empower women through education.
“Our goal is to help women so they never have to go through that,” Cox said.
During a 12-hour training session, women are taught awareness and self-defense.
“We learn a lot of awareness and about risk reduction,” Cox said.
At the Weber County Sheriff's Office, women acquire the skills to prevent them from being a victim by going through a handful of "what if" situations.
“If you're grabbed from behind, if you're grabbed from the front, if someone grabs your wrists: We teach them techniques of what to do in those situations,” Cox said.
As part of the 12-hour course, they practice their techniques by making strikes against padded shields.
“We all need to have some type of defense at any point,” said Nellie Razo of West Haven.
Nellie Razo graduated from the RAD program for the third time during Saturday’s session.
“I came here to learn some skills, and this gave me confidence in my daily life, which I love,” Razo said.
Women as young as twelve and from any type of background or level of experience can be part of the class. Organizers note it is not a martial arts class, but rather an opportunity to learn simple self-defense techniques.
“I chose to come here because I've never taken a class like this before,” said Amy Micizio of Centerville.
The program is a non-profit organization, and instructors donate their time and passion.
“We've learned so much in a short, short amount of time, I wish I would have learned these techniques a long time ago,” Micizio said.
R.A.D. is a new program for the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, and the cost for each participant is $25.