August 2, 2012
By Lance Cpl. John Wilkes , Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
MCAS BEAUFORT — Marine Corps Community Services graduated the sixth Rape Aggression Defense training class, July 24.
Sexual assault is one of the fastest rising violent crimes in America. It can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.
“The Rape Aggression Defense training class began aboard the Air Station approximately two and a half years ago,” said Kathy Williams, MCCS health promotion coordinator. “It has been a great success so far.”
The training takes 12 hours. This iteration was broken down into four separate three-hour sessions.
Day one of training consists of mostly classroom preparation. Awareness and knowledge are very important in avoiding and preventing sexual assault.
For the remaining three days, students begin physical training and practice defending themselves in mock sexual assault situations.
“Students learn kicks, strikes and techniques, so they are better prepared to defend themselves if necessary,” said Williams.
In 2008, according to the department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, 57 percent of the sexual assaults against females were committed by an offender they knew and one in five sexual assaults against females was committed by an intimate partner.
“Rape Aggression Defense training is a great step toward helping people defend themselves and serves to give people the tools and knowledge to avoid bad situations,” said Williams.
The Justice Department’s 2006 National Violence Against Women Survey found that nearly 18 million women and three million men had experienced at least one incident of sexual assault.
“The training was great,” said Tyteisha Holmes, Exceptional Family Member Program training and outreach specialist. “I learned a lot and loved it.
I would definitely recommend it to everyone.”