Robert Bongiorno, Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police and Domestic Violence Services Network Host Successful RESIST Program
BEDFORD — Chief Robert Bongiorno and Jacquelin Apsler are pleased to announce that the Bedford Police Department and the Domestic Violence Services Network (DVSN) hosted two successful realistic escape strategies and instinct-based self defense training (RESIST) courses.
Similar to a Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class, the goal of RESIST is for women to learn how to escape from an attacker by using instinct-based moves. The free program is separated into two, three-hour classes. In the first, participants talk about general and relationship safety before learning and then practicing physical self-defense moves like strikes and blocks. On the second day, instructors wear protective gear and “attack” participants, who then use moves learned in class to escape.
Every instructor is trained through RAD. Bedford’s Sgt. Richard Vitale, Officer Kristen Dineen, Officer Jeffrey French and Emergency Communications Officer Claudia Foy led the sessions with assistance from DVSN advocate Jena Salon.
“These classes are designed to provide women with instinct-based training to defend themselves using their voice and body in dangerous situations,” Apsler said. “RESIST has been extremely successful in Bedford and that is in part due to a strong collaboration between DVSN and the Police Department.”
Bedford Police and DVSN hosted two courses for women in town, one at Bedford High School on April 12 and 16, and one at Middlesex Community College on June 22 and 23. Participation was capped at 16 students.
In a survey following the sessions at MCC, participants praised the course. One woman stated RESIST inspired her to pursue additional self-defense classes, and another left feeling empowered, confident that she would be able to defend herself in an unsafe situation.
Through the Lahey Communities Benefits Initiative, Bedford Police and DVSN obtained a $10,000 grant to offer five courses. The remaining three will be scheduled throughout the year.
“Working with DVSN, and with the support and funding from Lahey, we have been able to provide two RESIST courses for women in our community to obtain valuable skills that can be used to fend off an attacker,” Chief Bongiorno said. “We’re pleased to be able to offer three more sessions to residents and encourage all who are interested to sign up.”
The next class will be held at the Middlesex Community College in September. To find out more information, or to sign up for the course, contact Jena Salon at [email protected]
RESIST was first developed by the Lincoln Police Department four years ago as an alternative to RAD. Instinct-based training is coupled with education and tips on healthy relationships, domestic violence, sexual assault and how to avoid undue attention or aggressive behavior.