BY MELISSA BURNS
Most colleges will do everything that is in their power to ensure their students’ safety, but students need to protect themselves as well. During the ‘15/’16 school year for k-12 schools, 79% of public schools reported one or more incidents of violence, theft, or other crimes, which makes a total of 1.4 million crimes. In other words, 28 crimes per 1,000 students happened during that time. From the thefts to even murders, the media very often reports on such incidents which can happen in any state. Is there something that students can do to decrease these numbers mentioned above?
A higher level of security leads to better quality lives for students, from better academic performance to their own wellbeing. After all, safety starts with responsibility. Actively thinking about your own and your campus community’s safety is what will provide a pleasant, enjoyable place for students. There are certain crime prevention tips every student should know about, and we’ve decided to highlight the most important ones.
Asking for help
Many students will feel ashamed to ask for help because they think it makes them vulnerable or weak, but crime can happen to anyone. Understanding how you feel about it can show you what actions need to be taken, so you feel better and safer. For instance, if you think that you are not physically prepared to protect yourself in case somebody attacks you on the street, you can enroll in activities such as self-defense, box, Brazilian jiu-jitsu or something similar. This type of activity teaches you not just how to protect yourself, but also boosts your confidence and provides you with a feeling of control over various situations.
Also, asking for help after a crime has happened should be something a student should consider. Some might think that it’s too late to do anything about it, but crimes need to be reported, investigated and solved. If you’ve been a victim of any crime, you should ask for the help of a lawyer. There are many great lawyers who are skilled to help young people like students to deal with such situations. You will most likely find a lot of lawyers in any city, especially where there is a campus. So, if you’re living in San Diego, you should contact San Diego criminal lawyer as this professional will be familiar with the location, most common crimes, potential suspects and all the necessary procedures. Same goes for every other city in the United States.
The way you walk and look around is significant if you want to make sure you’re as safe as possible. Try not to appear vulnerable, confused, tired or lost. All of this will make someone with bad intentions think you are an easy target. Avoid situations or places that make you feel this way. If you’re unsure of the direction, always check before you go. When you feel too tired, stay at home and relax instead of wandering around.
It would be best if you think about the various situations that can happen and try to think of the way you would react to them. This can help you feel more prepared for any possible outcome and allow you to enjoy your days without worrying you will not be able to protect yourself. Putting more focus on your reaction to the potential situation will give you a feeling of control.
Having a confident attitude will not get you far if you’re not focused. That means you should never leave your stuff unattended.
- When leaving the place you live in, always double check if you locked the door. Make sure your windows are closed if you live on the first floor.
- When you go out with your laptop or other valuable belongings, always pay attention to people who are sitting around. Unfortunately, getting up to get the coffee just a few steps away from your stuff can result in a theft.
- If you’re a driver, take the same level of care for your vehicle. When you’re parking your car, always check the surroundings.
- If the place looks too dark and dangerous, you should park it somewhere else.
Also, talking to your friends will get you more useful information to ensure your safety as people will share their own experiences with you. It will help you feel included and part of a safer community as well.
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at firstname.lastname@example.org