Christine Lee, NBC 5 Irving Reporter
Irving police are holding a week-long Rape Aggression Defense program aimed at teaching middle school and high school girls self-defense tactics and techniques.
The Irving Police Athletic/Activities League is teaching girls self-defense techniques.
The nonprofit is holding the five-day RAD Summer Girls Safety Conference for the first time. Officer Krista Meyer said 28 girls are enrolled.
The Rape Aggression Defense System program is aimed at teaching middle school and high school girls realistic self-defense tactics and techniques. Officer Krista Meyer said 28 girls are enrolled.
"Learning to be vigilant -- even if it's walking through the mall with their parents -- eventually, when they're on their own, it'll just be ingrained in them to where that's what they're used to and they'll know how to react," Meyer said.
ReaJame Bennett, 19, said the program is helping her overcome her fears and teaching her how to protect herself.
"Around the time I was 10, I was in Arkansas with my father. He was gone, and I walked to the store," she said. "I thought I was a big girl. And a car was following me, and it got to the point where he picked me up and had me in the car."
Bennett said she screamed and yelled until he let her go. But the emotional scars from that incident still remain.
"I have trust issues and I still to this day can't really trust any adult, but it's getting better," she said.
Meyer said instructors go over key lessons throughout the week so the students won't forget what's really important.
"To see them from the first day to the last day and knowing that these girls are going to be able to take care of themselves, it's really the best part of the class for me," she said.