Four Choices That Help Teens and Young Adults Reduce the Risk of Sexual Assault in College
Teens meet a lot of new challenges as they head off to college, and one of those challenges is the very real risk of sexual assault or abuse. In fact, it has been estimated that a shocking one in five college-age students experience some form of sexual assault before they graduate. To help increase awareness of the issue of sexual assault on campuses, BestColleges.com has created an in-depth guide for students that includes some important tips for prevention—and we’d like to share a few of these tips with you here.
Reducing the Risk of Sexual Assault and Abuse With Smart Choices About Safety
Reducing the risk of sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact on campuses is a complex issue, and everyone can take part in preventing the danger. Although it isn’t always possible to control the actions of others, students can take steps to avoid incidents of sexual abuse or assault by making smart choices about their safety. Here are four choices students can make to protect themselves:
- Trust your instincts. If you have a “bad feeling” about a person, or if a situation is making you uncomfortable, don’t ignore your feelings. Your “gut instinct” can often tip you off that a social situation—sexual or otherwise—might be dangerous.
- Use the “buddy system.” When you go out, try to go out with friends you can trust to stick with you and make sure you get back safely. If you do go out alone, make sure someone you trust knows where you are, and make it a point to walk in well-lit and populated areas.
- Don’t underestimate the effects of alcohol. Alcohol is involved in numerous reports of sexual assaults and rapes on and off campuses across the nation. If you choose to drink, make sure you drink responsibly, understand your limits, and imbibe with friends you trust.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended. Although some people may be tempted to pass it off as an “urban legend,” the threat of someone slipping something in your drink is very real—so never leave your drink unattended and avoid drinking from open punch bowls and similar communal alcohol sources.
- Don’t remain silent. If you do become the victim of rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse, you don’t have to keep it secret. You can reach out to your doctor, your parents, local and online support groups, and campus health centers for support and information. Sexual assault is not your fault, and you can speak up to get the help that you need and deserve.
Do you have other tips for staying safe on campus or raising awareness of sexual assault against teens and students? Share them with our team and our readers by leaving a comment below, or join in the discussion today by connecting with Lane & Lane on Facebook.