BY Jane Hurst
Every year, it seems that there are more and more reports of sexual assaults on college campuses. Yes, it is happening more frequently than ever, but you don’t have to be a victim. There are many ways that you can protect yourself, and make sure that you are safe, no matter where you are, whether you are outside on campus, in your own dorm room or apartment, or out for a night on the town. Here are some tips that you can use to stay safe no matter where you are or what you are doing.
- Learn the Area – On the first day you arrive at the campus, learn your way around. Make sure you that you know all of the routes to each of your classes, and to any other places that you will be frequenting, including the library, activities, etc. If you are walking around and looking lost, you could be setting yourself up to be a victim of assault.
- Find the Campus Safety Office – It is a good idea to learn where the campus safety office is, and the services offered there. You can go there to learn a lot of safety tips that will make your college experience the best it can possibly, and the safest. You can learn about the most common crimes on campuses, and how to keep yourself safe.
- Find the Blue Phones – Most campuses have emergency phones that are lit with blue light. Yes, most of us have cell phones, but you can’t always rely on these. If the battery is dead, you won’t be able to call anyone for help.
- Know Your Surroundings – Any time you are out and about, be aware of what is going on around you. Take note of your surroundings, and walk like you have a purpose. Don’t have your headphones on, and look straight ahead instead of down at the ground. Make eye contact with people you pass, and stay in well-lit areas.
- Don’t Drink and Drive – If you are going to be drinking, leave your car at home. Arrange for a sober driver, a cab, etc. and arrive alive. If you are currently having any issues because of drinking and driving, you should call a DUI attorney at a criminal defense firm like Sohovich Law to find out what you need to do to put the situation behind you.
- Use the Campus Service – This is a free service offered by many colleges that offers people escorts to their vehicles, night classes, etc. Never feel silly to ask for this help. It could save your life.
- Let People Know where You are Going – If you are going out, let your friends know where you are going, and what time you plan to be back. If possible, in addition to your cell phone number, leave another number where you can be reached. If you aren’t back when people expect you, they can check up on you to make sure that you are okay.
- Keep an Eye on Your Drink – When you are out at the bar, never take your eyes off your drinks. It is too easy for someone to slip a date rape drug into a drink, and you can end up being sexually assaulted without being able to do anything about it. You may not even remember what happens, so you can’t even report the assault.
- Don’t Carry a Lot of Books – If you are overloaded with books, shopping bags, etc., your hands aren’t free for defending yourself if necessary. This makes you an easy target for attackers. Use a backpack or another type of bag for carrying books so your hands are free and you are not distracted.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!