Public Safety Office Main Phone: Dial 610-921-7670
1311 College Avenue - Reading, PA 19604 (corner of Linden and College Avenue)
R.A.D. Self Defense Program
Department of Public Safety
Step 1: Become INFORMED and learn the facts
Step 2: Become AWARE of your SURROUNDINGS
Step 3: Become SAFE and make smart DECISIONS
Step 4: Become familiar with RESOURCES at Albright
Step 5: Become PROACTIVE and develop useful TOOLS
Step 1: Important Information (LEARN THE FACTS!)
Sexual assault remains a significant problem on college campuses and is frequently under reported according to the U.S. Department of Justice. At least half of all sexual assault cases involve alcohol and the majority of them occur between people who know each other most often in a dating situation. Please review the information provided below to help you and your peers from becoming a victim of sexual assault.
Stanford University Study; Elizabeth M. Ozer and Albert Bandura
A study of hundreds of women who attended one particular self defense class.
Of the women in this study, 40 reported having been sexually assaulted, but 38 had escaped; 30 by stunning or disabling their assailants and eight by frightening the men off.
The two women who were raped chose not to fight back because their attackers were armed.
Step 2: Personal Safety Awareness (RISK REDUCTION!)
n. plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal
Personal safety is about using good common sense,
trusting your instincts and developing risk reduction strategies.
Protect Yourself at Home and in your Residence Hall
- Lock your door, even when you intend to return home shortly or even if you are just going down the hall. It takes a thief 10 seconds or less to enter an open room and steal your property.
- Lock or secure doors and windows when you are alone or asleep.
- Keep emergency numbers by your phone.
- Do not leave messages on your door indicating that you are away and when you will return.
- Do not let strangers enter a residence hall or its premises.
- Do not prop open outer doors. If someone asks to use your phone for an emergency call, offer to make the call instead of allowing him/her access to your telephone.
- Do not put your address on your key ring.
- Personal Safety Video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38AINTReSmQ
- Know your neighbors.
- Do not leave keys in hiding places. Thieves will find them. Carry your keys or make sure that anyone who truly needs them has his/her own copy.
- Call 911 to report suspicious persons or activities in or around your neighborhood.
- Open a savings or checking account instead of keeping money in your room.
- Keep automatic teller machine cards in a safe place and keep your PIN number secret. When possible, only use ATM machines during the day.
- Instead of carrying large sums of cash, use a charge card. Some charge cards insure property purchased with those cards against loss, theft or damage.
- If you find yourself in immediate danger, call 911; try to stay calm and get away at the first opportunity.
Protect Yourself When Walking
- Avoid walking alone at night unless absolutely necessary.
- Make use of Albright’s Extended Shuttle Service when walking on campus after dark.
- Call Public Safety at 610-921-7670 or 911 to report suspicious persons or activity in or around your neighborhood and campus.
- Avoid shortcuts and dark, isolated areas.
- Walk purposefully, know where you are going and project a no-nonsense image.
- Avoid potentially dangerous situations.
- If you feel threatened, cross the street, locate an emergency phone or enter a store or place of business even if you have just left it.
- Have your door keys ready; carry them in your pockets, not buried in a purse.
- If you carry pepper spray, be familiar with how it works and have it readily available in case you need it
Protect Yourself When Using Public Transportation
- Have your fare or pass ready in hand when boarding the bus.
- During off hours, select a seat as near to the driver as possible.
- If someone on the bus bothers you, change seats and tell the driver.
- Look around when getting off the bus or trolley, and be aware of those around you.
- If you are going to be out late, be sure you have cab fare.
- At night, avoid dark and isolated intersections or stops.
Protect Yourself from Carjacking
Carjacking is the taking of a motor vehicle in the possession of another by means of force or fear. Security conscious drivers are less likely to be a victim of carjacking than those who are careless. Crimes can take place at any time, but more often take place at night, and are more often committed by young males. Top spots for carjacking include intersections and parking lots at malls, apartments, businesses and schools. The following precautions will reduce your chances of being victimized:
- Reduce your chances of being carjacked by walking to your car purposefully, and stay alert.
- Approach your car with the key in hand. Look around and inside the car before getting in.
- Park in well-lighted areas, near sidewalks or walkways. Avoid parking near dumpsters, wooded areas, large vans or trucks, or anything else that limits your visibility.
- Never leave valuables in plain view even if the car is locked. Put them in the trunk or out of sight.
- Keep doors locked and windows rolled up, no matter how short the distance or how safe the area.
- Look around, especially at places where you slow down or stop such as garages and parking lots, intersections, self-serve gas stations and car washes, highway entry and exit ramps, and ATMs.
- When coming to a stop, leave enough room to maneuver around other cars, especially if you sense trouble and need to get away.
- Avoid driving alone, if possible. Travel with someone, especially at night.
- Don’t stop to assist a stranger whose car has broken down. Help instead by using your cell phone or driving to the nearest phone and calling police to help.
- Always keep your car well maintained, and make sure you have plenty of gas.
Step 3: Be Safe (Make Smart DECISIONS!)
Watch Your Alcoholic Beverage Consumption
No one who experiences a sexual assault is ever to blame for the actions of the attacker, but alcoholic beverages make everyone more vulnerable to becoming a victim. Wine, beer, liquor and other alcoholic beverages impairs your judgment, reflexes and reaction time, so if you choose to drink, then limit your consumption consistent with your body size, food consumption, strength of beverage and metabolism, and know that generally women experience intoxication more rapidly than men due to their physical make up. Always have a trusted group of friends around when you drink. Always have a sober friend with you, so this friend can use his/her sober judgment to help keep you safe.
Do you really know the person you are with?
College is a wonderful place to develop and enhance leadership and social skills but even if you have a class with someone or know them through a friend, you probably don’t have a complete sense of their character and background. Never let a relatively unknown person make you a drink, or spend time alone with you when you are incapacitated or depressed as this makes you vulnerable. You are less in control of yourself and safe as you increase your consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Keep your alcoholic beverage consumption in check – AVOID BINGE DRINKING.
Alcohol is a depressant but also can increase aggressive behavior. The vast majority of all violence on campus is alcohol-related and alcohol consumption remains a key killer of young people in traffic fatalities. Although alcohol itself doesn’t cause violence, many people are more likely to act out their violent feelings when they drink. This increased aggression means that some people are more likely to be sexually violent when they drink.
Research has found that when men are under the influence of alcohol, they are likely to interpret a variety of verbal and nonverbal cues as evidence that women are interested in having sex with them. This inaccurate interpretation coupled with increased violence could have dangerous — and illegal — results, so you should always drink in moderation and pay attention to the way alcohol affects you. When in doubt, leave the location or situation; your safety is what is most important.
Step 4: Become Familiar (Utilize Campus and Off-Campus Resources!)
- Local and State Police Departments
**If you or a friend are a victim…REPORT THE CRIME** Crime Alert Berks County - Toll free 1-877-373-9913
Step 5: Become Proactive (Develop Useful Tools!)
Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Classes at Albright
In August 2000, Robert F. Gerken, previous director of public safety, and James Cammarano, former public safety officer, along with Samantha Wesner, director of the Gable Health Center, became certified R.A.D. instructors to teach self defense to women at Albright College. In 2008, former Officer Jeremy Marcavage and Alison Burke, director of the Schumo Center, were also R.A.D. certified. Corporal Becki Achey, R.A.D. Coordinator, became certified in March of 2010 and currently oversees the program. This nationally-known program is being taught in more than 450 colleges and universities throughout the country. From September 2001 to April 2011, 20 R.A.D. classes have been taught at Albright and more than 600 women in the Albright community have received this training.
Thomas G. McDaniel, previous director of public safety, believes that this training is crucial for women today for self protection. The program is proactive training that it is based on instinctive movements. Have a question for the director? Just ask!
"R.A.D. made me more aware of my surroundings. I learned some of the most effortless yet effective techniques that could possibly save my life whether I'm out at night or in the surrounding city by myself. I've taken other classes like Escape School and Taekwondo, but R.A.D. was the most practical. After learning the various techniques, the instructors present a real-life scenario by ‘attacking you’ while wearing protective suits. I'm really glad that I was able to take part in R.A.D. And it’s free, so I can continue to take refresher courses anytime in the future!" -Manpreet Kaur ’12
Meet the current R.A.D. Instructors
Director of the Schumo Center/Instructor
Alison Burke has 20 years experience in a variety of commercial and medical fitness settings including cardiac rehabilitation, post physical therapy and conditioning, and pulmonary rehabilitation. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from West Chester University in 1994. Alison was hired as the first Director of the Schumo Center for Fitness & Well-Being in 2007. In addition to her role as director, she also coordinates the Intramural Sports program and is advisor to the Albright Ski Society and Big Adventure Domain (formerly the Outdoor Club). Alison holds a Primary Group Fitness Certification with AFAA and is certified in a variety of group fitness formats including Zumba-Latin Dance, Cardio Kickboxing, Body Sculpting, Cycling, Yoga and Pilates.
Alison finished her R.A.D. certification in 2007 and feels a strong commitment to teach these skills to our students at Albright College. She has the opportunity to work with many female students and members of our Albright Community and often takes this opportunity to promote the R.A.D. program and educate all on a proactive approach to safety that should be utilized throughout life.
R.A.D. Coordinator/Associate Director of Public Safety/Instructor
Becki Achey is starting her 7th school year working for the department. She was recently promoted to Associate Director of Public Safety.
She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, with a concentration in Spanish, from East Stroudsburg University in 2005. Before coming to Albright College, she was an elementary school teacher in the Pocono Region and also in Berks County for three years. She also has earned master degree credits from Cabrini College in Education and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Education program at Albright College.
Becki was certified to teach R.A.D. in the spring of 2010 and is very committed to ensuring the safety of all students here at Albright. She believes in R.A.D. and continues to find new ways to promote the growth of the program, such as the new R.A.D. website, brochures and online class registration.
In her position, she is able to work with many female students, faculty and staff across campus, and often encourages members of the Albright Community to participate in the R.A.D. class. She has a strong belief that the skills taught in this program can be used for life and also encourages a proactive attitude towards campus safety.
In addition to her role as a R.A.D. instructor, she works as an Associate Director, supervises the Student Officer Program, manages the department website and is the assistant transportation coordinator for the department.
Reading Police Officer/Instructor
Dale has been a police officer since May 1994. He joined the City of Reading Police Department in June 1998. Dale has been teaching R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense Systems) since May 2006. He has studied karate since he was 11 years old and has a black belt in Ryukyu Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu. Dale leads the aggressors during the simulation attack exercises and brings a wealth of knowledge to the program.
Public Safety Officer/Instructor
Joe Sebio started his career at the Berks County Sheriff’s Department Security Division in 1991. He has worked for several different law enforcement agencies in the last 21 years. Joe has been trained in American Kempo style karate, as well as being certified in many different police self defense training’s throughout his career. He became R.A.D. certified in March of 2013 and also is an aggressor for the simulation exercises.
Public Safety Officer/Instructor
Angela has been working with the Department of Public Safety since 2013 and became a full-time third shift officer in July of 2015. She is a now a certified RAD instructor. This is her first year and she is excited to be so involved in a program that benefits the students.
Angela graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Berks Technical Institute in 2013. She also completed her internship with us. Angela plans to go back to school and get her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
What is R.A.D.?
R.A.D. classes are offered at no charge to college students, faculty and staff.
The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. It is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training.
R.A.D. is not a martial arts program. Our courses are taught by certified R.A.D. instructors and provide you with a workbook/reference manual. This manual outlines the entire physical defense program for reference and continuous personal growth. The R.A.D. System of Physical Defense is currently being taught at many colleges and universities. The growing, widespread acceptance of this system is primarily due to the ease, simplicity and effectiveness of our tactics, solid research and unique teaching methodology.
The R.A.D. Systems is dedicated to teaching women defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assault, by utilizing easy, effective and proven self-defense tactics. Our system of realistic defense will provide a woman with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance.
Visit the official R.A.D. website: http://www.rad-systems.com/
Approximately 85 percent of rape victims knew their assailant.
With more than 3,500 instructors certified and nearly 160,000 women trained, R.A.D. Systems is the country’s largest and fastest growing self-defense program for women and children.
The R.A.D. Systems curriculum is taught at more than 400 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada, and is the only self-defense program ever to be endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). R.A.D. is an international alliance of thousands of instructors united in offering practical options for responding to increasing acts of violence against women. We offer life-long opportunity for physical skill mastery provided through our trademark Lifetime Return and Practice Policy.
R.A.D. Schedule at Albright College
R.A.D. courses are hands-on classes designed to teach women self-defense techniques proven effective against much larger attackers. Albright offers free R.A.D. courses to female students, faculty and staff. Click here to view the schedule and register.
All students who complete the RAD program will receive a RAD awareness bracelet.
12 to 16 hour basic physical defense class.
Utilizing the R.A.D. student manual, students will be involved in a discussion of risk reduction strategies, date rape, continuum of survival, defensive strategies and the basic principles of defense.
Participating students will begin the process of hands-on training. We also discuss the pros and cons of defensive weaponry, how to develop a defensive mindset, understanding offensive and defensive postures, recognizing vulnerable locations and utilizing personal weapons.
Participating students will continue the process of hands-on training. The techniques utilized by R.A.D. Systems are based on simple gross motor skills and are developed to the point that they become instinctual through repetition. Students will have the opportunity to use these techniques in dynamic impact training by striking padded equipment held by the instructors. All techniques target a single attacker.
Session 4 (optional)
Students will then participate in “simulated assault” scenarios with R.A.D. instructors, who along with participants, wear state-of-the-art protective gear specifically designed for this training. Women have the opportunity to utilize their skills in a safe training environment.