Program offered in metro Detroit teaches kids to defend themselves

Published On: Dec 30 2013 02:32:20 PM EST

It can happen at the hand of a family member, friend, neighbor or complete stranger, the FBI reports about 2,000 children a day are kidnapped.

But there is a program that teaches children to protect themselves. It's called RAD, resisting aggression defensively.

"It makes me feel safer," said Laura Deal who took the RAD class

"It teaches me how to be safe, and how to, how to, if I'm being attacked I can attack them back," said Bianca Baldinelli.

"It helps you protect yourself," said Gianna Deplama

Organizers said RAD teaches and empowers children to recognize, avoid, resist, and escape violence.

Joanne Waite, a RAD instructor, teaches children specific drills like elbowing, hand blocking, and knee strikes.   The students practice scenarios including escaping from their backpacks and a possible abduction in a store.

Waite said the program gives kids permission to defend themselves.

"We help kids learn that they are in charge of themselves," said Waite.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children advises that children under the age of 12 not be allowed out by themselves.

Fighting Spirit Personal Safety in Plymouth runs the radKIDS program every summer ahead of the start of school.  For more information on the program click here.

For information on other RAD program offered in the metro Detroit area, click here.

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