Staying Safe from Sexual Assault on Campus

Staying Safe from Sexual Assault on Campus

Moving to a college campus for the first time is an undoubtedly exciting experience. For many students, it’s the first time they have a real taste of independence. The freedom they feel is so boundless that some students become comfortable with the idea of committing crimes. No college is free from crime, but there are ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Sexual assault is one of the most prevalent crimes on college campuses. Online investigative journalist magazine Investigate West estimates that one in five women on college campuses experiences some kind of sexual assault, most commonly date rape. There is a number of things you should do to prevent being a victim of date rape. For starters, never go out without a friend you trust, and make it a priority to stay together throughout the night. If you are drinking, do not accept a drink that you did not see poured. Better yet, always pour your own drink and open cans and bottles yourself. This way you can ensure that they have not been tampered with.

When walking on campus, especially at night, try to stay on more crowded and well-lit pathways. Many schools have emergency stations, usually marked by blue lights, that can be used to speak with or summon help if you feel as though you are in danger. Be aware of your surroundings and stay away from suspicious individuals. It may seem cold, but your safety is important. If you are walking around at night, it’s always good to have a friend with you. There is safety in numbers, and not being alone is a deterrent to potential sexual assaulters.

The point is not to live in a constant state of fear, but to rather have the knowledge that sexual assaults can, and unfortunately do, happen. Arming yourself with this information can prove useful in helping reduce your risk of being a target. If you happen to be a victim of an on-campus sexual assault remember that you are not alone and that there are a lot of people who are willing to help you.

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Larry Benneth+