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The University of Kentucky Police Department is continually working to provide a safe and secure environment for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the campus. However, it is important for citizens to take steps to decrease the risk of becoming victims. To further encourage women to take an active interest in their own safety, we provide the S.T.A.R.R. program. The Self Defense Tactics and Risk Reduction course is designed for females over the age of 13 with no maximum age limit.

The benefits of self-defense include preventing sexual assault, reducing assault attempts and increasing confidence.  Survivors may come away from the course feeling victorious and overcome feelings of past victimization.

"My only regret about this class is that I wish I had taken it years ago. This is the single most important class I have ever taken in my entire life. What I learned in STARR could have prevented sexual assault from happening to me. Even years later, I got something back that I thought I had lost. I've never been afforded an opportunity to feel as empowered and victorious as I felt on Fight Night. I hope this class has the same kind of impact on you as it did me," -STARR participant.

Course Curriculum

The program begins with a 2 hour discussion on ways to reduce your risk of being targeted and general safety tips including awareness. The remaining 4 hours teaches the basics of hands-on self-defense training which is all active learning.  So, get ready to break a sweat! We seek to empower women with the knowledge of how to defend against larger and often stronger attackers. Strikes, kicks and ground defense techniques are all taught in a non-threatening atmosphere by our instructors who are certified police officers. The final test of the class is a culmination of techniques learned in a simulated attack called Fight Night.  This class offers participants an opportunity for overcoming fear of helplessness and allows individuals with past sexual assault trauma to transform that experience into a positive, healing experience. Participants are taught to assert themselves physically and verbally by yelling commands "no" or "stop" with every elbow punch, sweep kick or palm heel strike to a padded instructor. 

Course Availability & Location

The STARR class is comprised of two hour classes for three consecutive days. The class is taught in the Bill Gatton Student Center on 160 Avenue of Champions, on North Campus and is open to the public. There is NO fee for the class. Individuals under the age of 18 will be required to have a parent/guardian sign a consent form.

Spring 2024 registration Now Open! 

Class Dates: 

April 16, 18, 19 from 6-8pm 

Free and open to all female students, staff, and community members.

Click here to register! 

Please contact Olivia Steddom regarding S.T.A.R.R. questions or concerns.