June 11

4 Ways Women (and Men) Can Keep Themselves Safe on College Campuses


Studies have shown that college-aged women (aged 18-24) are more likely to be the victims of robberies and sexual assault— whether they attend college or not. However, sexual assault on college campuses is twice as prevalent on college campus, and is experienced by 13% of college students, and by both women and men. Undergraduate students experience sexual assault through incapaciation, physical force, and/or violence. There are ways for college-age women and men to stay safe, and these guidelines can be applied to non-students of the same age.


#1: Get Familiar With the Campus and Surrounding Areas

It’s essential for all college students to know their way around campus to avoid getting lost in an emergency situation. This will also provide the chance to locate emergency phones that will immediately alert security. It’s also a good idea to have the number to campus security programmed in your phone. Even though many campuses are switching to online learning, you should still be able to locate emergency phones.

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As for non-students, it’s still smart to become accustomed to your surroundings— especially if you’ve just moved to a new city or town. It’s also good for college students to be familiar with the areas surrounding campus, such as grocery stores, malls, etc. This will also allow you to get a feel of which areas may be more dangerous than others— just remember to do all of this during the day and not at night.


#2: Don’t Give Out Personal Information

The majority of people this age already know how dangerous it can be to give out personal information, but what many may not know is that there’s a campus directory that allows people to search for students with personal information, such as a full name and phone number. Although this information is legally available to the public, you can protect yourself by making sure that a photo of you isn’t attached to any of this information.

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However, there are certain times when it’s a good idea to give out personal information. For example, you should give a copy of your class schedule and important contact information to your trusted friends and family members in case of an emergency. Non-students should also alert a trusted person to where they’ll be traveling, especially if they’re going out at night.


#3: Travel in Groups

Criminals are more likely to attack a single person walking alone than they are to attack a group of people. It’s even more dangerous to walk alone at night. Also, take the busier paths on campus, avoiding the more isolated ones. Isolated paths present an opportunity for criminals both night and day.

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It’s also important to know what an “easy target” looks like. Criminals often look for individuals not paying attention, such as texting on a phone. If you must walk alone— especially at night— talk to a friend on the phone, but remain vigilant and mention your surroundings often. If you feel like you may be in danger, you can inform your friend on the phone and they can help alert emergency services.


#4: Get Social

Even though sexual assault is prevelant on college campuses, there are still some good people on these campuses. In fact, many criminals are non-students because college campuses are open entities where anyone can enter. Many schools have seminars for freshmen on how they can stay safe, so try to attend these and get to know the peer mentors. Mentors can give you some good advice on the ins and outs of campus life and more specific ways on how to stay safe.

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Remember that sexual abuse can happen to both women and men, so these tips are good for everyone aged 18-24. It’s also important that all cases of sexual abusse be reported— first to campus officials, then to local officials, and also to medical professionals and a lawyer, such as Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers.

Other tips to keep in mind are to always park as close to a campus building as possible, and to avoid parking off campus. Also, park in well-lit areas if your class happens to end after dark. If you’re sitting in your car, make sure the doors are locked and never sit alone in your car at night. Finally, make sure that you have a way to charge your phone while you’re on campus to avoid having the battery go dead and then you end up in an emergency situation.


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