By SHAFAQ PARWEZ
Conestoga College has held a rape aggression defence course three times since September 2015. And the number of participants keeps growing every year.
The course was most recently held at the college on Oct. 18, 19 and 20 in the multi-purpose room in the rec centre.
It is currently offered twice a year, with Security Services hoping to add a summer session too. Its basic aim is to teach women how to defend themselves against physical and sexual assault. Women are taught various defensive manoeuvres to keep in mind while travelling, at work or even if attacked while sleeping. The course also aims to strengthen women who have been victims of sexual assault in the past, and is a good fit for women who are interested in joining law enforcement agencies.
Lorna Campbell, a security representative at Conestoga’s Safety and Security Services, said the course has been offered for many years.
“The college always got outside people to run this self-defence course,” she said, adding she now runs it with the help of assistant supervisor Susete Araujo-Vizinho.
Campbell said she was trained in rape aggression defence at Ryerson in 2014 and has taken additional training in New Mexico (2016) and Michigan (2017). She aims to attend yet another training seminar in Ryerson this February.
Campbell identified a few key areas where women need to be more vigilant of their surroundings. She said they need to be careful when they are “out at night alone, in parking lots and in dark areas.”
She said her biggest concern is “women going out with their earplugs in and listening to loud music.” She said it nullifies the possibility of escaping assault.
Twenty-two participants took part in last month’s session.
With the number of assaults increasing every year, Campbell said, “I hoped more people would sign up.”
Women from ages 18 to 60 have taken the course.
Students can find out about the winter session through the Co-Curricular Record, posters and LCDs in the hallways.
Participants are required to sign up at Security Services in Room 2B10. Classes are held three days in a row from 5 to 8 p.m. A total of nine hours has to be completed to get a course completion certificate.