Library to offer women chance to protect themselves

By AMY JONES/For the Reporter

ALABASTER – Local women interested in learning how to defend themselves against assailants will soon have the opportunity to do so at no cost.

Alabaster’s Albert L. Scott Public Library is offering a Rape Aggression Defense Class Nov. 15-16. The class will be taught by Alabaster police officers and certified RAD instructors John Kessler and Jamison Lee, who are both also student resource officers with Alabaster City Schools.

In an email interview, Kessler said he and Lee taught the course 13 times this past summer, reaching more than 200 women. During the course, women learn risk recognition, awareness and reduction strategies. Participants also learn different physical defense moves, which will allow them to tailor their responses to the situations in which they might find themselves, Kessler said.

“The responses have been great. We see most participants doubtful at the beginning. During the course, Officer Lee and I can see how the climate of the room turns from doubtful to confident,” Kessler said.

The course is available only for participants ages 13 and older, and any participant under the age of 18 must have a parental consent form.

Kessler said he encourages teenagers to take the course so they can be prepared to take care of themselves as they get older.

“This course can help these young ladies learn risk avoidance strategies to help them be more aware of their surroundings. Therefore, it reduces their opportunity to be victimized,” he said.

The class will be from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15 and from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. Participants must attend both days to complete the course.

Kessler said participants may want to bring snacks and “plenty of water” both days.

Prior registration for the course is required, and at least 20 people need to be registered for the class to go on as scheduled. To register, call the library at 664-6822.

Kessler said those attending should wear comfortable clothing. He also said anyone interested should register and attend, regardless of fitness level or athletic ability.

“Each participant is in total control of their participation. Therefore, people with low fitness levels shouldn’t be deterred away from participating,” he said.

The class will take place in the Library Meeting Room.