The Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) System teaches women about rape awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance while they build basic hands-on defense skills. The goal is to provide women with several options for self-defense so that they can make an educated decision about resistance in case of attack.
The UMass Lowell Police Department invites female students, faculty and staff to partake in the R.A.D. course free of charge. The course teaches easy, effective and proven self-defense tactics and techniques to protect against various types of assaults. Participants must commit to the full 12 hours of class time.
University Police also teach the R.A.D. course on request to specific groups on campus, such as women’s athletic teams.

R.A.D. Course Details

The first night of the R.A.D. course includes an overview and discussion of risk reduction and prevention. On the subsequent two nights students learn and practice physical defense moves. The final session is a simulation of an attack. This is the class where everything the student learns comes together. Participating in the simulation is strictly voluntary, but students must be present to observe. They may still complete the class if they choose not to volunteer in the simulated attack. However, the vast majority of women who perform the simulation leave feeling empowered and confident in their abilities.

Free Return Policy

Once a woman has graduated from the R.A.D. course, she becomes a lifetime member. She may then go anywhere in the United States and Canada where R.A.D. is offered and attend a class for free, provided that there is room in the class. She can attend the entire course or just a simulation to brush up on her techniques.

Instructor Training

University Police R.A.D. Instructors are certified to teach the Basic R.A.D Program.

Police Department Goals

The UMass Lowell Police Department adopted the R.A.D. training program as a proactive effort for the women of UMass Lowell and the surrounding area. We operate on the premise that a spontaneous violent attack will stimulate a natural desire to resist on the part of the victim. Our goal is to teach that physical defense is not only prudent, but also necessary if resistance is to be effective. The R.A.D. system empowers women to make their own decisions regarding self-defense options, and also provides an emotional support system to see them through the experience in the event of an attack.
For more information contact Lt. Melissa Mullen at
Visit the R.A.D. website for more information on the program.