Residence Life Director, Corinna Caracci has recently been inducted into the Rape Aggression and Defense (RAD) Hall-of-Fame. Developed in the late 1980s, the RAD system was brought to SUNY New Paltz shortly after Caracci joined the school in 1999 through her incentives.
The award honored Caracci’s time and leadership within the program, which educates women on how to identify and avoid potentially dangerous situations utilizing hands on self defense training, contrary to a martial arts program.
Instead, it is a program that focuses 80 percent on avoidance. RAD holds two classes during the Spring semester.
Caracci took the class herself in 1989 at SUNY Oneonta, while she was a student. She loved the class, but eventually moved on to karate. However, RAD was always in the back of her mind.
She received her black belt in karate after 10 years but thought “I want to teach others, but in a quicker fashion. That’s how I got into RAD because it’s a program that you can take for either nine or 12 hours.”
To go through a simulation, one needs to have at least nine hours of the RAD program under their belt, allowing one to know how to utilize these skills in the real world. After this, the trainee has a free lifetime guarantee practice, which means anywhere that RAD offers classes, they are able to attend. This encourages students to keep practicing.
For five years, Caracci has trained RAD instructors, teaching and empowering women to train others. There are roughly 15 instructors on campus who have trained approximately 35 hours. This allows more women to be served around our campus, which would leave them with important skills that would be used often.
“I believe getting people more involved would be the key to getting it go away forever,” Caracci said.
The RAD Hall-of- Fame is a lifetime achievement award. Caracci has been invested in the program for 25 years because she has seen it make a difference in women’s lives.
“You don’t do something thinking that someone will recognize you for it,” she said. “I keep doing it because I know it’s the right thing to do, to help other people. It’s amazing to get recognized for something that you love doing.”
Caracci feels not only humble, but grateful and blessed that she has been recognized. She highly encourages every woman to attend the class.
“I believe this isn’t a women problem and a man problem. It’s a society issue and we need to work together,” she said.
One in five women will be sexually assaulted while at college, according to dosomething.org. Nationwide, 900,000 women have attended RAD Basic Defense Program.
First-year visual arts major Emily Downes took the class in Fall 2017, after seeing a flyer for it in her residence hall. Before attending the RAD program, she had a very limited knowledge of self defense.
“I felt that the program was very empowering and that no matter your size, you are able to take power into your own hands and can protect yourself against threatening situations,” Downes said.
Please call 845-257-2222 or email RAD@newpaltz.edu for more information or visit www.newpaltz.edu/police/rad.html.