Assault on College Campuses: How to Avoid It
Going off to college is one of the biggest milestones for young adults who start their journey to adulthood. Sending your children to college is exciting, but it can also be very daunting to have kids after high-school leave home and have to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, sexual assault on college campuses is a major problem, one that has to be addressed by parents and kids who are going to college. To help your children protect themselves, there are some things that you must know as a parent and tools that you have to provide your child before they go to college.
Sexual Assault on College Campuses Statistics: The Alarming Rates
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) has checked the statistics for sexual assault on college campuses and came up with the following results:
- 4.2% of students have had someone stalk them since in college
- An overall 11.2% of students experience sexual assault or rape during their studies
- 8.8% female and 2.2% male graduate and professional students experience rape or sexual assault
- 23.1% female and 5.4% of male undergraduate students experience rape or sexual assault
- Most (more than 50%) of assault on college campus cases occur during August, September, October, or November
The alarming sexual assault on college campus statistics shows how important it is to prepare your children for college and make them aware of the realities of sexual assault during the college years.
How to Stay Safe on Campus
Before your children move out and start their college education, it is important to provide them with the information and tools that will help protect them in college:
1. Know the numbers – show your children the numbers and statistics of assault on college campuses. The figures do not lie, and your children should know that they are at risk of being assaulted while they are in college.
2. Get to know resources – college students should know the location of campus resources, like the health center, campus police station, and others. Also, tell your children to program emergency numbers into their phones to have ready in emergencies.
3. Do not be too trusting – college is meant to prepare young adults for the future, and one important thing that they should know is to not be too trusting with new people. Other college students can be very nice initially, but that could change. Trust should be earned and not handed out, so make sure your children are aware of this fact.
4. Dating with caution – dating in college is fun, easy, and very existing. While hormones may run wild, you need to teach your children to be careful with the people that they meet; advise them to have first dates in a crowded place, run a check on their date, and not provide too personal information when going out with new people.
5. Socializing safely – college parties are famous and infamous, and many teens attend them to get the "full college experience". If you tell your children not to attend college parties and not to drink at all, they may nod in agreement, but they will do what young people do. So, instead of forbidding your kids to go to parties, tell them how to be smart:
- Drink responsibly – when drinking alcohol, do not drink too much, have someone give you an open beverage, or leave a beverage alone. Drink responsibly and never let go of your drink.
- Do not party alone – when at a party or leaving one, do not be completely alone. Go to a party with friends and leave with them.
- When alone – in case your children have no one to go with to a party or walk around campus with, they should be cautious; only use one earphone, be aware of where they are, carry protection (like pepper spray), and if someone attacks them, scream for help and yell "I am being attacked".
- Do not be afraid to lie – if during a party or other social gathering, your child begins to feel unsafe, they should lie to get themselves out of the situation. Their safety comes first, and telling a lie to be safe is more than okay.
- College is an existing time, especially for those who have never lived outside their home. The thrill of budding independence comes at a cost, and the statistics of assault on college campuses demonstrate just that fact. You should teach your children how to stay safe on campus and decrease their chances of being assaulted as much as possible.