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HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Mrs. Maillet Shares Her Passion for Empowering Young Women through RAD


In a world where women’s safety is a constant concern, the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program stands as a beacon of empowerment, teaching women self-defense techniques and instilling in them the confidence to protect themselves. At the heart of this program are dedicated instructors like Mrs. Maillet, who has been teaching RAD for over a decade.

Mrs. Maillet’s introduction to RAD came through Sergeant Brennan of the Hopkinton Police Department and Mrs. Place, a former health teacher at the school. Inspired by the program’s potential to empower young women, Mrs. Maillet eagerly sought training, becoming a certified RAD instructor.

“I was lucky enough that the school sent me to get trained,” she recalled. “Then Mrs. Place moved to the middle school, and so I became the primary RAD instructor here.”

The RAD training, as Mrs. Maillet described, was intense and eye-opening. “I was one of very few people who were not a police officer,” she explained.

This intense training, however, provided Mrs. Maillet with a profound understanding of the challenges women face and the importance of RAD training. “They put you through a pretty intense training to get you to have an understanding what it might feel like for typically female, but it could be anybody who feels like pressure or not pressure that we might just experience the uncomfortableness or the idea of being attacked,” she elaborated.

A passionate advocate for RAD, Maillet believes every girl should have the opportunity to take the course. “While it may not be for everyone, many young women have already faced uncomfortable or negative experiences, and RAD equips them with the skills to protect themselves,” Maillet said.

Mrs. Maillet’s dedication to her students extends beyond the classroom. She recently organized a RAD field trip to Boundless Adventures, a zipline project adventure. The inspiration for this trip came from her son’s experience overcoming his fear of zip lining.

“Just like my son overcame his initial fear at the zipline adventure park, it made me think about RAD, how I’m always asking my students to step outside of their comfort zone, show to themselves that they can’t do things that they might not think that they can,” she explained.

For girls considering taking a RAD class, Mrs. Maillet offered valuable advice. “There is a piece of RAD that I try to keep very privately,” she began, explaining that the RAD moves should be kept confidential. “My hope is that they never have to use it. But I also don’t want them to share that with other people.”

She encouraged girls to approach RAD with an open mind.

“I think there’s a lot of different opinions about RAD based on maybe what they hear. Then students often say the experience is different once they get into class,” Maillet said. “When I start the semester off, I look at my students and not many of them have been told how to punch or how to kick or how to defend themselves. The idea of that is overwhelming.”

Reflecting on her students’ progress, Maillet shared her emotional connection to their growth. “Students often start the semester hesitant and unsure, but by the end, they exude confidence and determination during simulations,” Maillet said.

Mrs. Maillet’s goal is to prepare her students for real-world situations. “In the real world, you don’t get that warning. You don’t get the warning that you’re going to be attacked,” she emphasized.

Through the simulations and training, she promotes her student’s ability to react instinctively. “The hope is that students show to themselves that they can do the moves knowing that they’re going to be attacked, being that nervous. And then should they ever have to use them in the real world, they’ll just do the moves,” she explained.

Her dedication to her students and her belief in their strength are evident in her every word. “I’m so proud of them,” she concluded, her voice filled with emotion. “They are amazing young women.”

In a world that often seeks to diminish women’s strength, Mrs. Maillet reminds her students that they are capable, strong, and worthy of safety and respect. The impact of her work extends far beyond the RAD classroom, shaping a generation of young women who are equipped to face the world with confidence and courage.

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