Despite safety precautions put in place by colleges to prevent danger on campus, assaults can, and do, happen regardless. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 26.4% of female undergraduate students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force or incapacitation. While preventing rape is never the victim’s responsibility, here are some things you can do to feel safer on campus:
By: Lena Van Duzer
1. Don’t Walk Alone/Avoid Deserted Areas of Campus
When classes finish, you’re tired and most likely just want to get home as soon as you can. This can mean taking shortcuts and walking through less populated areas of campus, often at night, because they are quicker. While this may save you a couple of minutes, it could put you in a dangerous position. Instead of going by yourself, find some friends to walk home with and use more populated areas. If you don’t know someone to walk with, call a friend or family member and stay on the phone with them until you get home.
2. Never Leave Your Drink Unattended
Perpetrators often use date rape drugs to incapacitate their victims by placing the drugs in their drinks. At parties, never leave your drink unattended and be cautious about accepting drinks from others. When possible, get them yourself and choose drinks that come in sealed containers.
3. Carry Safety Tools
Adding self-defense tools to your keychain or wallet is an easy way to feel a bit safer while navigating campus. Amazon offers a wide variety of small, inexpensive tools such as personal alarms, tactical pens and glass breakers, pepper spray and whistles.
4. Educate Yourself by Taking Self-Defense Classes
Taking a self-defense class can provide you with practical skills you can apply in potentially dangerous situations. Being able to hold or fight off an attacker can give the police enough time to get to the scene or bystanders enough time to step in. It may also give you the opportunity to get away and find someone to help, call the police on your own. Oftentimes, colleges will host self defense classes for students to attend, so make sure to look out for this opportunity on your campus.