Public Safety Officer Introduces Self-defense Program

Photo by Steve Fallon

Ramapo Public Safety officer, Tray Baremore, has hit the ground running with the new self-defense program Rape Aggression Defense, also known as R.A.D. Systems, which is currently being scheduled at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

According to the R.A.D. Systems profile, “The mission of the R.A.D. Systems is to establish an accessible, constantly improving and internationally respected alliance of dedicated instructors. These instructors in turn, will provide educational opportunities for women, children, men and seniors, to create a safer future for themselves. In doing this, we challenge society to evolve into an existence where violence is not an acceptable part of daily life.”

Officer Baremore has been working for Public Safety since June 2013. She has been a certified R.A.D. instructor since 2010. R.A.D. was founded in 1989 by Lawrence N. Nadeau.

Senior Casey White thinks that this program is going to be very helpful for women on campus.

“For girls who are too afraid or ashamed to bring it up to people, this is an outlet that allows them to feel more comfortable, also by providing them with resources that will keep them feeling safe and protected. I feel as though this is very prevalent in the Ramapo community because although acts of assault don’t always happen on campus, there is no doubt that it occurs off campus,” White said.

At this time, Ramapo is only beginning with the basic R.A.D. course, which is a nine-hour course offered only to females. However, Public Safety is looking into bringing R.A.D. for men to Ramapo as soon as possible.

“Some men do need to learn how to defend themselves. I agree 100 percent that people should be able to defend themselves in any way from anyone, especially in today’s world where you don’t know what kind of people you can bump into,” said junior George Lara.

R.A.D. is not just your typical self-defense course. According the California State University website, the organization has five other supporting programs in existence, “these offerings provide a truly holistic approach to self defense education, supporting the necessity of continuous learning in order to provide realistic options for each population as they go through life. Each of these programs includes educational components comprised of lecture, discussion, physical resistive strategies. All of which are facilitated by certified R.A.D. instructors supported by a network of dedicated professionals who honor one another’s student through our unique Lifetime Return and Practice Policy.”

There are currently no prerequisites in order to participate in the R.A.D. courses.

Officer Baremore says she was initially drawn to R.A.D. because of the belief in empowering women and making a difference.

Junior Sasha Lopez believes that we should not assume acts of violence are not taking place just because we do not see them.

“People here think that just because assaults and violence aren’t being brought up frequently, they aren’t happening. Assaults happen. Rape happens. Just because you don’t hear about it a lot doesn’t mean that it’s not a frequent occurrence on your campus,” she said.

Lopez acknowledged that many of the victims of assault are frightened and ashamed to come out about what has happened to them. They fear victim blaming.

“I think this program is really good to have available to students,” Lopez said. “For people who haven’t spoken out, at least now they have a safe haven to refer to.”