How to prevent sexual assaults on college campuses

Shauna George, Staff Writer

TW: Sexual assault

Going to a new college, or any new place is always scary, especially if you don’t know the place well and you have no one to contact. What can you do to protect yourself from sexual assault? 

There are many ways to prevent yourself from becoming victim to sexual assault. 

  • Never hitchhike or accept a car ride from a stranger
  • If you are going anywhere at night, it is recommended that you go with a friend or a group
  • Plan your outings, tell a friend or family member where you are trying to go, and when you plan to return
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. If the area looks deserted or poorly lit, don’t go nor risk it
  • After dark, park as close as you can to the building you are going to. Have your keys in hand when you return to your car
  • Don’t go for walks or jog alone early in the morning or after dark. Plan your activity during daylight hours when others are around
  • If you are attacked, yell, scream, shout or do anything to attract attention
  • Do everything possible to keep an assailant from getting in your car or forcing you into their car
  • If you are abducted, drop a person item that can be traced to you

Share your location with a person you trust. If something were to go wrong, the trusted individual can use this piece of information and go to the cops with it. There are also many apps that you can use when walking home alone, that can notify anyone you trust, that you’re unsafe and in some form of danger.

“It is also legal for a registered student, employee, or faculty member of a college or university who has a valid concealed carry license to carry a concealed stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon/device designed solely for defensive purposes as long as it does not fire a dart or projectile” says Florida Carry, Inc.

Self-defense kits are also an effective preventative measure for sexual assaults. Common items included in self-defense kits are red pepper spray and stun guns.

There are many ways to educate yourself and others around you about sexual assault.

RAINN is is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, and provides educational materials and counseling services.

Sit down with your brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and parents or guardians and have a meaningful conversation about sexual assault. Teach those around you about warning signs, teach consent, and how sexual harassment and rape can affect the lives of those around us.

 Stay safe out there!