College is supposed to be a time for discovery and making new friends not worrying about becoming a rape statistic. Here we look at how students can avoid becoming such a number as they embark on a new chapter in their life.
According to the FBI, in four women will be sexually assaulted during their four years of college while 62 percent of the time it is by people they know.
For many females college is the first time they have moved away from their parents and everything that is familiar to them.
As they embark on a new journey in their life it should be a chapter that is full of discovery, adventure, making new friends and growing as a person. It should not be a time when they become prey to people they think they know and can trust.
For many, the excitement of college life can make it all too easy to forget what else is going on around you or who is even watching you. While you may be eager to make friends with everyone there are some who will use this to their advantage, but will only have one aim in mind: to exploit your innocence and to confuse you into thinking that the rape that took place was in fact your own fault.
One thing is for sure: it is never the victim’s fault.
In order to make your time at college a memorable one here are some safety tips to consider:
Be aware of what is going on around you – By walking assertively, taking an interest in what is going on around you and looking like you know where you are going you are less likely to be an easy target for someone.
Never walk alone at night – Always make sure that you have a small group of people with you. If you are the only one going to one location get them to drop you off first beforehand.
If you think you are being followed – Always stay in areas that are well-lit and try to go into a restaurant or store. If these are not available find a group of people that you can walk with and stay with them until it is safe.
Never leave your drink unattended – If you need to visit the restroom make sure that you take your drink with you, never leave it unattended. Even if there is someone you trust it’s best not to leave it with them as they could get distracted while you are gone, thus giving someone the opportunity to slip something into your drink unaware.
Be alert for date rape drugs such as Rohypnol which is illegal in the United States – These can be slipped into a drink and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination and memory loss.
Avoid excessive alcohol – According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, every year 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
By taking these simple measures you can ensure that you don’t fall victim to sexual assault or rape during your time at college and even after you finish your four years.