Welcome back students…..and abusers?

Many campuses are returning back for the new school year and with a long list of worries from college why must students add on sexual assault to their list?  In recent years there have been many reports on sexual assault on various college campuses and the number continues to grow.

college-aged women percentage

It seems like there has been a surplus of sexual assault reports recently but this is just because it is being reported and voiced by those victims.  Sexual assault is something that has been around forever, but was always something people would turn a blind eye to.  With movements like #MeToo it has given victims the courage to report these incidents to gain justice and dignity for themselves.

Why does it still continue today?

Alcohol and Drugs

There are many factors that attract sexual assault to college campuses but none of which make it acceptable.  Colleges have a reputation of letting young adults explore things they’ve never tried before and with that there are many possibilities for reckless behavior.  Alcohol and drugs play a big role because both can cloud a person’s judgement and either make a bad decision as the abuser or as the victim in not being aware of what is happening and have no way of giving consent.

Reporting sexual assaultcollege student stats sexual assault

With the low number of reports it makes it difficult to catch the attack and prevent them from doing it again.  Reporting these acts can help a victim gain back some of their power as well as stopping it from happening again to them or to anyone else.

Tips to protect yourself from sexual assault:

Although you cannot fully prevent sexual assault because violent or abusive behavior is the responsibility of the attacker there are ways you can be more alert about your surroundings.

  • When meeting new people hang out in a group setting and know the person well before spending time alone with him/her.
  • Go to parties/hangouts with friends and always check in with each other.
  • Meet first dates or new people in a public place.
  • Do not ignore your instinct always go with your gut feeling.
  • Be aware of your alcohol or drug intake and pace yourself so you are aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep control of your own drink and do not leave it unoccupied so no one can slip drugs or alcohol into it.
  • Ask for help right away if you don’t feel right, and make sure you trust the person you ask.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.  If you are walking alone do not be preoccupied with your phone look and listen around you consistently.
  • Know your resources and who to contact and where to go.  Check with your school to see what they have available to you as well.
  • Have a plan to get home.  If you are using a ride sharing app make sure your phone is charged, have a credit/debit card or cash as a backup for a taxi.  Let someone know when you are leaving so they know you should be home by a certain amount of time.

Sources:

https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/sexual-assault-and-rape/college-sexual-assault#references

https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf

 

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