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Goffstown police offers women’s self-defense class in February

GOFFSTOWN — The Police Department is offering women ages 13 and older a chance to learn how to defend themselves against being attacked and sexually assaulted.

The four-day, 12-hour Rape Aggression Defense course will be held from 6:15 to 9:15 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 13, 20 and 27, and March 6 at the YMCA Allard Center, 116 Goffstown Back Road. The course is free but participants must attend all training dates to fully benefit from the program.

Students will learn awareness, prevention, how to reduce the risk of being attacked, and the basics of hands-on defense training. The Rape Aggression Defense, RAD, program is designed solely for women at all fitness levels, and can be catered to any woman’s needs, said officer Jacqueline Pelletier.

“RAD is by no means a martial arts program. We teach women how to escape if they’re attacked so the chances of being taken to a secondary location are lowered,” said Pelletier, who will teach the course with other RAD-certified instructors.

Pelletier began her career as a Goffstown Police Department dispatcher and a part-time special officer before serving as a patrol officer in Bow and Dunbarton. She returned to the Goffstown department last year. She is now in her 12th year as an officer, and is “glad to be back home,” she said.

She was certified as a RAD instructor about five years ago under strict guidelines. Pelletier will teach women the same tactics and techniques she learned during her training, including striking and kicking motions, and how to escape from being grabbed.

“Most women don’t know how to punch. We’re teaching them to use their body on how to escape,” she said. “Some women are viewed as powerless and they begin to believe they are.”

The program is designed to empower women so they have the proper attitude and strength to reduce their vulnerability. The class also educates women on how to avoid putting themselves in dangerous situations.

“I’m a police officer but at the end of the day I’m still a woman, and it’s wonderful to see how empowered they feel after the classes,” said Pelletier.

Space is limited to 25 participants and open to women in surrounding communities.

Contact Pelletier at 497-4858 to enroll.

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