Self-defense course, RAD for Women®

To date, Protection Services has trained more than 800 women on campus in Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) techniques to prevent sexual assault.

What will you learn during this course?

Protection Services has now trained more than seven hundred women in Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) on campus. The RAD course has its foundation in awareness and technique training, and is designed with the philosophy that self-defence training should be accessible and affordable to all women. Indeed, to register for the course, all you need is motivation and energy. At the present time, only women can register.

If you would like to register for a course, please complete the registration form (PDF, 188KB) and return by email to [email protected].

The Friday-night portion of the course deals with preventive strategies you can apply in your daily routine (traveling, coming to school or work, going out, being at home, etc.).

On Saturday morning, to get your blood flowing, the instructors put on their protective gear and let you practice self-defense techniques using full force. Releasing stress and anger never felt so good!  In the afternoon, after a review of the techniques taught in the morning, one instructor puts on the “aggressor suit” and becomes the “attacker.” You also put on protective gear and experience simulated encounters to practice your newly acquired self-defence techniques under more realistic conditions. You can again hit hard, because the red suit protects the “attacker.”

Some participants have actually been victims of sexual assault, and going through the course, especially the simulated attacks, can bring back horrible memories.  However, attending the course helps in the end. If you yourself have been sexually assaulted, we do encourage you to take part, emphasizing that our instructors are specially trained to show the empathy and sensitivity you need. They take the time to sit down with you and listen to your story. They can also direct you toward special campus services, such as counselling, designed to help you work through and manage all of the emotions caused by your ordeal. What's more, from our experience to date, the other course participants also display tremendous empathy and understanding in these circumstances.

Rape Aggression Defense course

“This course exceeded my expectations. I am very thankful for having the opportunity to participate. The atmosphere was very comfortable.”

RAD course alumni

Registration fees

Free for registered University of Ottawa students. To reserve your place on the registration list for the dates requested, a 30$ deposit. Upon completion of the course, refunds students will receive their registration fee back within 14 days.

If you are a staff member of the University of Ottawa, there is a 30$ fee paid upon registry.

If you are from outside of the University of Ottawa, there is a 40$ fee paid upon registry. *(Registration priority is to the University of Ottawa students and employees).

One full week prior notice required. Any cancellation shorter than 7 days will result in a loss of deposit or course fees.

What is the duration of the course?

The 12 hours of instruction are offered, always on campus, starting on a Friday night, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and continuing on the Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The course runs in English, but the instructors are bilingual.

When is the next course?

  • February 24 & 25, 2023 

  • March 24 & 25, 2023 (this course is full)

  • April 21 & 22, 2023  

University of Ottawa Covid protocols in place are to be respected and a self-assessment completed each day by all course participants and instructors. A confirmation email will be sent to all course participants.

If you would like to register for a course, please complete the registration form (PDF, 188KB) and return by email to [email protected]. A confirmation email will be sent to all course participants.

Our instructors