"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."

The R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) Basic Physical Defense course is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques that is regularly offered at Cornell/in Mt. Vernon. It is a comprehensive, women-only course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. R.A.D. is not a Martial Arts program. The courses are taught by nationally certified R.A.D. Instructors and provide each student with a workbook/reference manual. Any returning student with a signed manual is allowed to return to any R.A.D. class in the United States or Canada free of charge so that they may continue to practice their skills.

Why women only?

The majority of sexual assaults are committed by men against women. R.A.D. techniques are based on surprise and speed, and we as instructors cannot run the risk of giving the "weapons" we are teaching our female students to a potential attacker. Some R.A.D. instructors are male. All instructors are accredited by R.A.D. Headquarters and must recertify every year.

Also, we are dedicated to keeping the training environment free of competition and intimidation, which is made more difficult by the presence of men, especially for women who may have been assaulted in the past. And since the physical defense training R.A.D. provides does involve a fair amount of bodily contact, we keep the class sexually separated under Title IX of the U.S. Code, subpart D 106.34, dated July 1, 1992, which specifically outlines separation of the sexes in physical education classes involving bodily contact.