Unfortunately, sexual assault on college campuses still occurs today.
Research shows, however, that there is a continuing increase of reported sexual assault on college campuses. There are a number of factors that are believed to lead to the increase in these attacks. There is no reason, however, that gives the right to touch another person’s body without consent.
Until huge changes are made within society, the conversations about protecting yourself as a student from sexual assault on college campuses still needs to occur.
1. Utilize the buddy system. It’s a rule we’ve been taught since we were in kindergarten, but it remains just as important in college. Don’t go anywhere alone. Whether you are going to the bathroom, walking through campus or hopping in an Uber, go with a friend. Being alone puts you at higher risk to be targeted for potential sexual assault on college campuses.
2. Carry ‘weapons’ in your hand. If you happen to find yourself walking alone late at night, be sure to protect yourself. Have a can of pepper spray, carry an umbrella or have a sharp key ready in your hand. If you keep it in your bag, your attacker might reach you before you can reach your weapon.
3. Don’t put down your drink in a public place. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you place your drink down and leave it unattended, you run the risk of someone putting a drug or other substance in it. If you accidentally place it down, simply throw it out and get a new one.
4. Use campus security. Most college campuses are equipped to maintain safety at all hours of the night. Many campuses have emergency posts every few yards, signaled by a bright red or blue light. If you are running away from a potential attacker, hit the button on each post to notify police of your emergency and the path you are taking. Additionally, many campuses have safety buses or other nighttime transportation. Take advantage of this so you do not find yourself walking home alone at night, whether from the library or a party.
5. Keep your wits about you. Scan each room you enter. Keep an eye out for suspicious people, conversations or activities. If something seems unusual, notify the authorities or tell a friend. The more people who know about you whereabouts, the safer you will be.
6. Your phone has an emergency hack. If someone is trying to attack you, it may seem impossible to unlock your phone and dial 911. Most phones have an emergency response hack built in. For example, if you have an iPhone, pressing the lock button 5+ times will activate emergency mode.
None of these protective measures we are providing mention drinking less alcohol, wearing something less provocative or any other of today’s victim-shaming measures. If someone sexually attacks you, it is NOT your fault. No matter what you drank. No matter what you were wearing. No matter what you said. If there is no consent, then it is a sexual assault. You were NOT asking for it. Use these protective measures to keep yourself safe from predators and sexual assault on college campuses. Let us help you with this or any potential legal issue you are facing. Do not wait to contact a member of our local Tallahassee team to help you!