Ravens CARE is teaching students to defend themselves against assault

By Sam Smeltzer, The Circuit

Men and women at Benedictine are learning self-defense in order to defend themselves from sexual and physical assault.

Benedictine’s anti-assault organization, Ravens CARE (Countering Assault Risk with Education) is doing its part in educating students on how to defend themselves by offering women’s and co-ed defense classes once a semester.

Raven CARE seeks to raise awareness for sexual assault, implement preventative measures, educate people on red flags, teach safe ways to intervene on others behalf, self-defense and programs for people who have been sexually assaulted.

Benedictine College alumni Mike Smith and Ashley Palmer work with the Olathe Karate Academy and taught a co-ed self-defense class for Raven CARE on Feb. 5.

Junior Lainey Connelly is the president of Raven CARE, and she strongly encourages men and women to learn self-defense skills. She said that the more you practice the more it becomes muscle memory.

“If you are unaware of what to do you tend to freeze up in those situations and it makes it easier for someone to take advantage of you,” Connelly said.

Very few assault and sexual assault cases have been filed on Benedictine’s campus, but Connelly said that learning the skills now could help you in the future.

Senior Sarah Starrs has attended many self-defense sessions outside of Raven CARE. She said that it is important to learn these skills any way you can.

“Every man and woman should feel confident in their ability to defend themselves especially with everything that has come to light in the news today,” Starrs said.

Connelly is a psychology major and says her studies have helped her to better understand why people assault others and how our minds naturally react.

“There is this element called tonic inability and that’s when you are unprepared for something and you freeze up it’s literally a biological response,” Connelly said, “that’s what makes [people] blame the victims a lot because they didn’t fight back.”

For more information about Raven CARE email Lainey Connelly conn1976@ravens.benedictine.edu or the Raven CARE staff leader Jennifer Schmidt jschmidt@benedictine.edu