Rape Aggression Defense

"To develop and enhance the options of self-defense so that they may become more viable considerations to the woman who is attacked."

What is RAD? 

The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System is a comprehensive self-defense system for women. The program includes awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and avoidance—as well as several maneuvers available to women during a confrontation or attack.  

  • Certified instructors from the law enforcement community teach RAD.
  • The course focuses on developing self-defense.
  • The course is a total of 12 hours in length, taught in three or four sessions.
  • Each session is comprised of a combination of lecture/ discussion and physical skills.
  • The course culminates in a "realistic simulation," which gives students the opportunity to test their abilities on a real person during a simulated attack. 

Rather than making women more fearful, self-defense makes them more confident and less likely to use force because they begin to look and act less like victims. The RAD System gives women the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance and makes self-defense an effective option by teaching women to take an active role in their own self-defense and psychological well being.  

RAD is the only self-defense course endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.  

Return and Practice Policy 

Students who complete a RAD course are encouraged to take advantage of the free lifetime "return and practice" policy. This policy allows students to return at any time to any RAD course offered in the United States and Canada to practice free of charge.  

Who can enroll in RAD? 

RAD is for women only. The contents of the course were developed based on the natural movements and abilities of women in order to maximize a woman's ability to defend herself.  

Participants should be at least 14 years of age (although exceptions may be made on an individual basis by contacting an instructor prior to the course). Anyone under the age of 18 must have a signed parental consent form prior to the start of the course in order to participate.  

Attendance is limited, and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Penn State students, faculty, and staff receive first consideration when registering for a RAD course offered by University Police. 

Is there a fee for the course? 

This course is FREE for PSU students as it is funded by The Giardini Endowment for the Empowerment of Women Students.  For all other participants there is a $13.00 fee for the course, which is to pay for the comprehensive manual issued to all participants. Course fees must be paid by check (payable to Penn State) at least three business days prior to the first class.  

When are RAD courses offered? 

RAD courses are offered numerous times throughout the year depending upon demand. Call the Community Education Officer at University Police at 814-867-6185 to find out the next available dates. If you have a group of women interested in a RAD class, we may be able to schedule a class specifically for your group. Contact the Community Education Officer if you wish to discuss this option.  Following us on Twitter @pennstatepolice or like our page on Facebook, Penn State University Police and Public Safety, will allow you to view any posted classes being offered.    


Sgt. Monica Himes University Police Eisenhower Parking Deck University Park, PA 16802 814-867-6185.  The Community Education Officer can give you the dates for the next RAD class with openings or place your name on a waiting list. You will be contacted as soon as a class with openings is available.