College campuses are often thought of as safe places where students find a home away from home. And while the hope is to fulfill this assumption for every student, the truth is that 11.2 percent of graduate and undergraduate students experience rape or sexual assault, according to RAINN.org.
While we may want to cover our ears to that statistic, the reality of the situation is that sexual assault is happening on campuses all across America. And a good way to keep those statistics from climbing higher is to educate yourself and others.
First, the most important thing to remember is that if you have been a victim of sexual assault, it is not your fault.
Second, it’s good to know a few tips to help keep yourself out of a possibly compromising situation. CAASA is a non-profit that provides free services to victims and survivors of sexual assault/violence. Here is a list of reminders for college students or anyone who finds themselves out and about:
An attacker looks for:
Be observant and aware of your surroundings
Avoid walking alone, if possible
Avoid using your cellphone or MP3 devices so you can pay attention to your surroundings
Walk in a group at night, especially if you are intoxicated
Program 911 into your cell phone
Avoid isolated, poorly-lit areas
Carry a whistle, and blow it if you or someone else is in danger – and there are others tools available besides a whistle!
Look out for your friends’ safety
It is never the victim’s fault!
CAASA has a staffed 24-hour Hope line that provides support, crisis intervention, resources and most importantly a confidential person to talk to. Whether you are in crisis, want more information, or just want to talk with someone, a trained advocate will be available. You can call 1-877-362-4612 anytime.