Local Self Defense Class is Empowering Women - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Self Defense Class is Empowering Women

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Every two minutes someone in America is sexually assault and one in four women will be a victim at some point in their lifetime. Every two minutes someone in America is sexually assault and one in four women will be a victim at some point in their lifetime.
RICHLAND, WA - Every two minutes someone in America is sexually assault and one in four women will be a victim at some point in their lifetime.

"A lot of the programs that are in the area are male, female and a lot of times what you'll find is that they are very hesitant and very reluctant to participate in programs that have men in them because they feel intimidated," said instructor and Richland Police detective, Athena Clark. She is the only Rape Aggression Defense (or R.A.D.) instructor in the region. It's a class for women, taught by a woman.

"They can actually, you know, let some of their guards down. Express some of their fears and work through their fears in an environment that is free of judgement and intimidation," said Clark.

Just a handful of ladies took part this time including the dynamic (and now dangerous) sister duo, Terra and Kayla Olson.

"I go out with my friends and I go to the bars. It's good to know when I'm walking back to my car that I'll be safe and if someone does approach me, I can take initiative and do it," said Terra Olson.

"It's cool to know that it takes little effort to actually get out of a certain situation," said Kayla Olson.

The techniques are simple and very basic but Clark says the education piece of the R.A.D. class is key.

"There's some different risk factors. Risk awareness, reduction, recognition and then ultimately, avoidance. So, if you can learn those four risk reduction strategies, then that's 90% of self defense," said Clark.

"Going out, I feel way more confident that I can walk to my car and feel safe," said Terra Olson.

"You can see the empowerment. They almost blossom into this vicious butterfly," said Clark.

You can find information on how to sign up through the Richland Parks and Recreation Department. It typically costs around $25. Once you complete the nine hour course you receive a certificate and a lifetime, free invite back to any R.A.D. class across the country to practice the techniques.
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