University News

DPS pushes self-defense training for men

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, April 13, 2012

The Department of Public Safety has expanded efforts to include men in the conversation about sexual violence by bringing the Men Can Stop Rape organization to campus and planning a Rape Aggression Defense course for men. While Men Can Stop Rape focuses on the role of men in preventing sexual violence against women, Rape Aggression Defense for men focuses on teaching men self-defense to avoid becoming victims of violence.

DPS began efforts last year to engage men in the discussion about sexual assault but never had a program that focused specifically on men, said Michelle Nuey, manager of special programs for DPS and the RAD program coordinator.

“Both programs focus on redefining masculinity,” she said.

Rape Aggression Defense

RAD is a national program that traditionally trains women in self-defense techniques against potential attackers through certified instructors. The University currently offers the courses for free to women through the Department of Public Safety every month.

While the program’s emphasis is on women, DPS has been planning a course for men and hopes to start offering it by May.

“I think there’s been a need for us to diversify,” said Patricia Fortier, a DPS officer and an instructor for the women’s program. “We’re inclusive, not exclusive.”

Nuey said the men’s program follows the same principles as the women’s program, though the teaching will differ in some ways because men respond to assault differently than women.

The program is 80 percent risk reduction and 20 percent education, physical tactics and resistance, Nuey said.

In the past six months, male students have been targeted as victims more than females in general crimes in the community, Nuey said. DPS decided to implement the men’s course due to these incidences and inquiries from men.

Two police officers and one security guard have been certified as instructors for the RAD for men program so far, Nuey said, adding that she hopes the officers will serve as role models for the men who take the course.

They want to “educate men about non-confrontational principles of self-defense,” Nuey said, and to demonstrate “that it’s okay to walk away from something.”

The program will “provide information and tactical options to men that they can use to manage confrontational situations,” Nuey said, adding that they will emphasize de-escalating dangerous situations so they do not “resort to meeting aggression with aggression.”

“We’re going to open ourselves up to another dynamic of our community, and that’s very exciting,” Fortier said. “I think that people are going to get excited about it.”

“This course is so important and means so much to us as instructors that we feel it should be mandatory for every freshman to take,” she added. “It assists the students who come through the course with their four-year journey and beyond. You don’t come out as the Karate Kid or anything, but you come out with tools that we hope you’ll never have to use.”

Men Can Stop Rape

Men Can Stop Rape is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate men about ways they can prevent sexual assault. Joseph Vess, director of training and technical assistance for the Men Can Stop Rape organization, ran a training program workshop at the University last week.

Members of the Sexual Assault Advisory Board provided DPS with a list of students involved in sexual assault prevention programs and the Greek community to participate in the workshop. They then offered 10 more spots through Brown Morning Mail and four students signed up. The program focused on men, but female students and officers also attended. The four-hour training included eight students, seven administrators from campus life and 11 DPS members.

 The program consisted mainly of discussions and workshops that encouraged collaboration, dispelled harmful stereotypes about masculinity and urged men to be more effective allies to women and to use their strength to prevent violence.

“I think my favorite thing about the program is when men come to the workshops and realize that there are a lot of other men interested in countering violence against women,” Vess said. “Men often feel like they are alone but when they find out that there are other men interested in the same issues they tend to get really excited.”

Many participants were particularly impressed with one exercise in which they listed the qualities of men they admired, such as a father or uncle, and compared them to stereotypical masculine qualities propagated by the media. They were completely different.

“Most people listed gender-neutral attributes that offered a really nice critique of masculinity that’s promoted through the media and other institutions,” said Bita Shooshani, coordinator of sexual assault prevention and advocacy for the University.

“(The event) was a really good collaborative movement,” said Muna Idriss ’14, a member of Zeta Delta Xi and the Sexual Assault Peer Education program and the only female student present at the event.

Nuey agreed that the interdepartmental cooperation was encouraging and beneficial in preventing sexual violence, adding that trainers might incorporate these techniques into the RAD curriculum.

She highlighted the community-building aspect of the program.

“It demystifies the Department of Public Safety and allows officers to be viewed in a different way, that they’re actually on board with this and that they care about as much as anyone else,” Nuey said.

The program was generally received well by its attendants.

“I really like the MCSR training because it identifies a number of different ways that we can support men and what an important role men have to play in preventing violence against women and also against men,” Shooshani said. “It unpacks a lot of the cultural norms around what we’re taught it means to be a ‘real man.'”

“I thought it was really cool,” Idriss said. She said the seminar opened her eyes to how people talk about sexual violence.

“We don’t really think about hegemonic masculinity pressuring men into becoming these types of perpetrators,” she said. “We don’t talk about the role of society in what makes a man.”

Many participants enjoyed Vess as a facilitator and were inspired by his stories.

“You could tell that he was really connected to the issue even though (he) didn’t start thinking about it until he was 24,” said Mike Yules ’14, a member of Theta Delta Chi. “He made the point that you can always get involved and that it’s a growing experience.”

Yules added that the event was the perfect size and allowed him to connect deeply with the other participants. He said he thought the diversity of the group was beneficial. Matthew Gorham ’14, another member of Thete, said he might like to be a facilitator and possibly introduce the workshop to freshmen during orientation.

Vincent Greer, community director of residential life, was particularly enthusiastic in making a program like MCSR a permanent addition to campus.

“I would love to see some of our male students on campus look to start up an organization around this,” Greer said. “What I’d love to see is a group of men who just have conversations about masculinity and violence against women.”


    my name is dylan. i fear for my life and for my well-being, i am therefore reaching out for some answers regarding self-defense.

    i fear for my welfare, as well as for my life. i am handicapped, i had a “traumatic brain-injury” that i will never fully recover from, i have had many physical injuries which still hinder me (the discharge papers are at and, and i refuse to be the victim of society’s apparent acceptance of violence committed against men. i need to know how to EXCEL in acts of violence against women in order to protect myself in a society which seems to outright condone womens’ acts of violence against men. i need a self-defense class to coach me and to teach me how to excel at hurting a wombn who wants to hurt me.

    i realized what i have to defend myself against when i was watching tv. i saw an episode of “the big bang theory,” there was a self-defense class mentioned which taught – and i quote – “100 different ways to rip a guy’s nuts off”. is this what is being condoned by the networks, is this another thing i have to live in fear of? i couldn’t believe it – 100 different ways to rip a guy’s nuts off…that does not sound like self-defense, that sounds like violent spite against the bigger and stronger gender. now, i realize how there are many members of the egg-bleeding gender who make jokes about harming men, i never took them seriously because…well, for one thing, i’ve seen the kinds of weights that the gender of milk-leakers use for strength-training. therefore i have never regarded the shorter gender as any kind of legitimate threat. i mean, really, they’re all about DAIRY – from the milk-leak to the egg-bleed – the feminine body was designed for motherhood as much as the implementation of gender-based sports teams/military requirements/olympic competitions/hot dog eating competitions was designed to compensate for the lackluster abilities of the gender wearing high-heeled shoes and shoulderpads (two props, two articles of clothing meant to compensate for what didn’t happen to Strongwoman at puberty).

    gee, it sounds like Strongwoman is all about compensation for her disabilities, given that the reason for physical competitions being based on gender is simply to provide a way to “keep ’em separated” and to allow the little gender to triumph ALONGSIDE OF the bigger gender…”bigger,” as in height/weight/strength/stomachs. Strongwoman is placated by a society which tells her that she is man’s equal, the placation that Strongwoman receives is evidenced by the overcompensation found in gender-based physical competitions as well as by the overcompensation which 1) condones jokes about ripping mens’ nuts off while 2) completely forbidding jokes about both rape and breast-mutilation.

    now, my understanding of the placation that society uses to hide the meekness of femininity does not keep me from feeling intimidated by lines on tv like “100 different ways to rip a guy’s nuts off”. i realize that it’s not only physical strength that can harm men, i realize that even a woman can do it. i am intimidated by tv shows which condone violence committed against men, simply because my physical handicap puts me at a greater risk of being harmed by the “monkey see, monkey do” aspect of a society full of couch potatoes, and i refuse to be the victim of society’s apparent acceptance of violence committed against men.

    i am rightfully afraid for my welfare, i have heard way too many vaginas (or wombn) talk like their spite of the masculine gender has turned them insane – i’ve heard notions of violence against men both on tv and in real life…yes, many times in real life. i refuse to be the victim of society’s apparent acceptance of violence committed against men, and to protect myself from wombs who joke about harming men (and who get away with their jokes simply because nobody will take seriously the notion of the little gender harming the bigger gender), i am wondering if there is a self-defense class to protect me from Strongwoman. it is apparent that, despite the size of barbells at “curves fitness,” the vaginas of today are out to harm men…not out of self-defense but out of sheer jealousy and anger quite possibly stemming from their own lackluster physical abilities. it is to defend myself against the “100 different ways to rip a guy’s nuts off” mentalities that i am seeking a self-defense class which would teach me “100 different ways to rape a delusional wombn who can’t lift a 100-pound barbell yet who maintains that she can do anything a man can do”. it is to defend myself against the “100 different ways to rip a guy’s nuts off” mentalities, that i am also seeking a self-defense class which would teach me “100 ways to rip a wombn’s mammary glands off without using the knife that should be used only after the breasts are cooked and ready to be served”.

    i realize that the notion of hannibalizing the breasts of Strongwoman may rub people the wrong way, but the notion of “100 ways to rip a guy’s nuts off” rubs ME the wrong way. furthermore, if i have to defend myself against an insane womb who tries to rip my nuts off, i’m going to want to give her a taste of her own medicine by giving myself a taste of her own breasts. there are simply far too many vaginas who are hell-bent on “proving themselves” through harming men, that’s why i am inquiring about self-defense classes possibly named “100 ways to cut Strongwoman’s eggs out of her vagina”. there are simply far too many vaginas who are hell-bent on “proving themselves” through harming men.

    in the name of the “100 different ways to rip a guy’s nuts off” mentality that’s being condoned and promoted on shows like “the big bang theory,” in the realization of the “monkey see, monkey do” aspect of couch-potatoes, i would like to find a self-defense class that condones and promotes “violence against women” as a way to defend against “violence against men”. i refuse to be the victim of society’s apparent acceptance of violence committed against men – i am therefore searching for a self-defense class to learn how to protect myself from psychotic wannabees (yes, i said “wannabees,” that’s the crux of their “100 ways to rip a guy’s nuts off” psychosis. that’s the crux of high-heeled shoes and shoulderpads. that’s the crux of the “a woman can do anything a man can do” nonsense. they’re wannabees who can’t accept themselves as members of the gender that is less apt).

    i am handicapped, and given society’s devil-may-care attitude regarding violence committed against men (“100 different ways to rip a guy’s nuts off”), i fear for my well-being. i would like to find a self-defense class which would teach me how to EXCEL in hurting Strongwoman before the egg-bleeder hurts me. i am requesting help in defending myself from any Strongwoman who is apt to kick me in the balls and laugh about it. i need to know how to inflict the most pain upon Strongwoman in order to protect myself from her. i need to know the best methods of violence against women in order to protect myself from women. if lorena bobbitt didn’t go to jail, i need to know how to EXCEL in acts of violence against women…just to protect myself in a society which seems to condone acts of violence against men.

    i would appreciate an email back which would provide names of coaches/trainers who specialize in acts of violence against women as a means of self-defense.

    mr. dylan terreri, i
    dr. sheldon cooper, ii
    “When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it.” – Madonna