For the first time, NIU Police and Public Safety are offering weekly S.A.F.E. training for women on Thursdays. Training takes place in the residence halls on a rotational schedule, and so far there has been little enrollment.

Approximately 10 students participated in the first training of the semester at Neptune, Officer Shaunda Wilson said. No students participated in the Sept. 26 training in the Stevenson South Smart Classroom.

“I don’t think the turnout is disappointing,” Wilson said. “It’s just that this is the beginning of the year, and S.A.F.E. isn’t something that we offered throughout the years like every single week.”

S.A.F.E., or Self Defense, Awareness, Familiarization, Exchange, was created by the National Safe Defense Institute. It is a two-hour program teaching basic self-defense skills and strategies to reduce exposure to violence, according to the NIU Police and Public Safety website.

“This year is the first year we actually scheduled it to where we have specific dates that we’ll do the S.A.F.E. program,” Officer Robert Williams said. “Before, what we would do is [have] organizations reach out to us.”

The program has always been offered to students; however, it is being pushed more this year, Officer Maria Christiansen said.

Students sought shorter programs that taught basic self-defense moves and techniques, Wilson said.

“S.A.F.E. has been requested more so than R.A.D. training because people find that as far as time goes, they can put in the time to take a S.A.F.E. class,” Wilson said.

Rape Aggression Defense is a 9 to 12 hour program consisting of self-defense training and safety awareness, according to the R.A.D. systems website.

The NIU Police Department is in the process of implementing R.A.D. for men, Williams said.

The next S.A.F.E. training program will take place 7 p.m. Thursday in the Neptune Central Smart Classroom. Students can register on the NIU Police and Public Safety website. Campus organizations interested in scheduling a S.A.F.E. training session for their group can contact sbradley1@niu.edu.

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