Local News

Old UCCS webpage sparks social media outcry

Page appeared to offer new tips on self-defense

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Shortly after a bill banning guns on college campuses passed the State House, it appeared UCCS posted 10 new tips on how to defend yourself from an attacker.

The webpage from the Department of Public Safety offered suggestions including vomiting, urinating and being passive.

This sparked social media outcry and prompted an article by the International Business Times.

The webpage had a time stamp of Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m.  But university officials said the page was actually created in 2006 and was in connection to a self-defense course.

"It was part of supplemental information intended for women who had completed a self-defense class on campus that we call RAD, Rape Aggression Defense," said spokesman Tom Hutton.

"I do feel safe here, I feel like it is a safe campus," said student Lauren Russ.

Russ took a self defense course before she started college and said she was surprised by some of these suggestions.  "It is kind of weird, it wouldn't be my gut instinct to say I'm going to throw up on this person, but in that situation I wouldn't hold back," said Russ.

"I've never really heard of that before," said student Anna Clauson.  She said she regularly carries mace with her for protection.

"Tell your attacker you have a disease or are menstruating? I don't understand how that will keep someone from attacking you," questioned student Leah McFann.

Cpl. Lisa Dipzinski teaches RAD on campus and knows there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to fighting off an attacker.

"As women we have to cheat to win. We have to go for eyes, we have to go for ears,  we have to go for the throat, we have to go for a groin strike," Dipzinski said.

Dipzinski defended the more unusual suggestions that surfaced on the public safety webpage.  "If you can use anything to your advantage, which would be to say that you are going to urinate, that you're menstruating, that you're going to vomit, that you have a disease ... I know it sounds way off the wall, but why not use something to your advantage.  You could possibly get a perpetrator that is disgusted by one of those things and that could ultimately make them walk away," she said.

UCCS has updated its website adding a statement on these suggestions.  Those suggestions have been removed.

These are the suggestions they had listed:

1.  Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself

2.  Your instinct may be to scream, go ahead! It may startle your attacker and give you an opportunity to run away.

3.  Kick off your shoes if you have time and can't run in them.

4.  Don't take time to look back, just get away

5.  If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense

6.  Tell you attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.

7.  Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.

8.  Yelling, hitting or biting may give you a chance to escape, do it!

9.  Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.

10.  Remember every emergency situation is different, only you can decide which action is the most appropriate.

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