This Is How You Can Protect Yourself From Assault And Ensure Your Own Safety
Even though we know that the only person to blame for r*pe is the person committing the r*pe, we as individuals have to take precautions to protect ourselves from such people, because, unfortunately, no one else will.
Preventing a s*xual assault shouldn’t lie on the shoulders of women, though. Men, along with governments, should take that responsibility together in order to make sure that you can feel safe from r*pe, regardless of your gender.
However, until that happens, it’s important to teach incoming freshmen what they can do to protect themselves from assault, because according to RAINN (R*pe, Abuse, and Incest National Network, every two minutes there is another victim of a s*xual assault in the United States, and 44% of those victims will be under the age of 18, and 80% of the same victims will be under the age of 30. A college with a population of 10,000 can have up to 350 s*xual assaults each year, according to RAINN.
Here are 8 ways for freshmen to ensure their own safety.
1. Use the ‘buddy system’
Having a ‘buddy system’ with your roomies or suite-mates can be really helpful. No one will be walking alone, as walking home late by yourself from the library, parties, or even an evening class is not as safe as it seems. You should develop a ‘buddy system’ with your roommates, so you text them and insist they pick you up whenever you have to walk alone at night.
2. Tell everyone, or at least someone, your business
You should tell at least one person where you’re going and who are you going to meet. Make sure that you let someone close to you know where you’re headed, with whom, and what time they can expect you back. Even though it may seem like stripping you of your newfound freedom, you have to remember that you are not asking for permission, you are just keeping yourself safe.
3. Make sure you’re safe when pulled over by the police
Just because someone has a badge, it does not mean you are safe from any harm. Police officers are humans too, so they can also be flawed. If a male police officer pulls you over on the road, especially at night, you should just stare straight ahead with your hands on the steering wheel and ask for a female officer. However, you are not legally entitled to a same-sex officer in every state, so you should look up your state’s laws online.
4. Watch your drink or ditch your drink
Whenever you have to leave your drink unintended to go to the bathroom, for example, and you don’t trust the person next to it completely, ditch it. Just get another one. Date r*pe drugs can be easily slipped into an unattended beverage, and they leave no visible trace or odor.
5. Do your research before you study abroad
Whenever you decide to board your plane to an exotic new land, make sure to educate yourself about the resources there. There are, unfortunately, a lot of countries that are worse at protecting s*xual assault survivors than the U.S., so you should make sure to learn the laws in the country you are planning to study in, and write down the numbers of local emergency response centers and the U.S. embassy.
6. Keep your Online Life Private
We know how hard this seems, especially with the abundance of social networks available, but putting your real-life address on the Internet is incredibly dangerous. Also, you should almost never share your current location, and use the privacy options to your advantage.
7. Party responsibly
Alcohol and drugs are involved in about 90 percent of s*xual assault cases occurring on college campuses. Also, even though it is true that if you are intoxicated (with alcohol, drugs, or both) you are unable to consent to s*x. However, it will, unfortunately, strike a perpetrator as an opportunity rather than a deterrent.
8. Protect yourself and your belongings
Taking a self-defense course is a great idea to help keep yourself safe. Maybe you will never get to use these movies, but it’s the confidence that comes with them that will show in your stride. Also, you can carry a high-pitched whistle that you can use in case of emergency, and you can also carry a mace to ward off attackers if your state allows it. (just be sure to read the instructions and now accidentally blind yourself). And another note, always make sure to lock your dorm room and building before you leave.