Defense Against Crime

12/08/2009

Before You Send Your Little Girl Off To College

the odds are 1 in 4 amoung college women

the odds are 1 in 4 amoung college women

In a few weeks proud parents will be sending their daughters off to college to get further their education and to ‘enjoy’ the college experience.  Many parent hope that their little girl will not only make fantastic grades, but also make wise choices while away from home away from their supervision. Many of them will.  However some of your daughters will get an education that they did not ask for. They will be victims of a sexual assault.

What is Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined as any sexual activity involving a person who does not or cannot (due to alcohol, drugs, or some sort of incapacitation) consent.  It is any touching of a sexual or other intimate part of a person for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party. This includes coerced touching of the perpetrator by the victim as well as the touching of the victim by the perpetrator, whether directly or through clothing. Sexual assault includes any forced act against one’s will where sex is the weapon. This can include, but is not limited to: Sexual Battery, Sodomy, Oral Copulation, Rape by a Foreign Object or Sexual Rape. People of all ages, races, economic backgrounds, sexualities, and lifestyles have been victims of Sexual assault.

What are the Facts I should know

  • 1 sexual assault every 127 seconds, or about 1 every 2 minutes.
  • 1 in 4 college women have been the victims of rape or attempted rape.
  • Almost 20 percent of undergraduate women were sexually assaulted during their time in college
  • At least 80 -90% of all sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance of the victim
  • 48.8% of college women who were victims of attacks that met the study’s definition of rape did not consider what happened to them rape.
  • 1 in 12 men admit to having fulfilled the legal definition of rape.
  • On average, at least 50% of college students’ sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use.
  • 75% of the time, the offender, the victim, or both have been drinking.
  • In a survey of high school students, 56% of girls and 76% of boys [some of whom may be incoming college freshmen] believed forced sex was acceptable under some circumstances.
  • 5% of the rape victims become pregnant
  • Some rapists may wear condoms in an effort to avoid DNA detection.
  • 65% of attacks are unreported, making sexual assault the “silent epidemic.” Sexual assault remains the most drastically underreported crime.
  • 20-25%  of women will be raped during their college career.
  • 13% of women are stalked during the academic year, and each stalking episode lasts an average of 60 days.
  • 5% of rape incidents are reported to the police.
  • 3% of college women nationally have experienced rape or attempted rape during the academic year.
  • 42% of raped women expect to be raped again.

Many rapes and other forms of sexual exploitation might be prevented if college women and men are educated about the problem and learn effective prevention strategies


What my daughter may endure if she is a victim

Victims of sexual assault are:

  • 3 times more likely to suffer from depression

    Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

    Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

  • 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders
  • 80% of rape victims suffer chronic physical or psychological problems over time.
  • 5-50%    of sexual assault victims seek mental health treatment as a result of the assault.
  • 14 times more likely to abuse alcohol
  • 26 more times likely to abuse drugs
  • 6 times more likely to contemplate suicide
  • 40% of rape survivors develop sexually transmitted diseases as a result of sexual assault.

The effects on her Academics and achievement

In addition to physical and emotional damage, college students who have been victims of sexual assault suffer from a host of problems that impede their academic achievement.

  • In nearly every case, victims of sexual assault cannot perform at the same academic levels that they did prior to the attack.
  • Sexual assault sometimes causes students to be unable to carry a normal class load, and they miss classes more frequently. (This is often a result of social withdrawal or a way to avoid seeing the perpetrator.)
  • Student victims regularly withdraw from courses altogether.
  • In more traumatic incidents, victims leave the school until they recover, sometimes transferring to another college.

What should my daughter do to protect herself.

The college experience can be a fantastic voyage for your young adult, if they make wise decision and are mentally and physically equipped to deal with possibly precarious circumstances.

  • Be mindful of your surroundings
  • Trust your instincts – If you have a bad feeling about a situation, trust your intuition and do not be afraid of making a scene or calling attention to yourself.  Being a little embarrassed is far better than you or your friend being assaulted.
  • Watch out for your friends.  Pair up when you go out, even on campus. Intervene if you see someone being taken advantage of.  If you go somewhere with friends, don’t leave without them
  • In dating or social situations, be wary of anyone who behaves in an disturbing manner, comes on too strong, or who chooses not to listen to you or respect your boundaries.  If you find yourself in a sexual or awkward situation where you feel you are getting mixed signals, STOP and TALK.
  • It is your right to set sexual boundaries for yourself.  Know your limits and learn how to assert and communicate them to others.  If someone is forcing you or coercing you sexually, clearly communicate what you are feeling – “NO! STOP.  I DON’T WANT THIS.”
  • Alcohol and other drugs greatly impair your judgment.  Avoid sexual contact when you, the other individual, or both of you are intoxicated.  Be aware of date rape risk factors: impaired judgment and reflexes from drug and/or alcohol use and being isolated from friends or neighbors.
  • At parties:
    •  Keep your eye on your drink, don’t leave it unattended
    •  Never drink out of the punch bowl
    •  Always get your own drink, never have others get it for you
  • Stay with a group of people. Avoid risky areas, such as deserted areas.
  • Take your time in getting to know your companion or “date.” Don’t spend time alone with someone who makes her feel uneasy or uncomfortable. This means following your instincts and removing herself from situations that you don’t feel good about.
  • Learn about date rape drugs
  • Carry Pepper Spray , a stun gun or even a personal alarm…and know how to use it.
  • Keep the campus police number handy, call them if you need an escort
  • Some colleges offer self defense classes, enroll in one
  • Use basic safety precautions:
    • Avoid walking alone if possible.
    • Carry your student ID/Drivers license card at all times.
    • Walk with an air of confidence and stay alert.
    • Keep your hand free, not overloaded.
    • Have your keys ready.
    • Lock your room door and don’t admit strangers to your residence hall
    • Request an escort or use the campus shuttle after dark.
    • Survey the campus after dark to see that buildings, walkways, quadrangles and parking lots are adequately secured, lighted and patrolled.
    • Utilize the emergency Blue Light phones located around campus.
    • Never give a stranger another student’s housing location or phone number
    • Have all deliveries made to the front desk
    • Do not loan out your key. Never compromise your safety for a roommate or friend who wants the door left unlocked.
    • Replace locks when a key is lost or stolen.
    • Use caution admitting strangers.

Confidentiality and Reporting

If you wish to report a sexual assault to the police: You can go directly to the police. Staff from your school’s Health Services, the Public Safety Department, and/or the Office or Student Affairs are available to assist and support you through this process.

If you do not wish to report a sexual assault to the police: You can speak confidentially with a member of the Health Services medical or mental staff. They are available to provide information and emotional support confidentially, and can assist you in obtaining medical, emotional, and legal services as needed. For the safety and welfare of victims and the community as a whole, the Health Services medical and mental health staff will strongly encourage victims to report a sexual assault and will assist students in filing a report with the College and/or the police.

 HELP

 Statistics

By Victor Swindell, owner of PepperEyes.com, a division of Swindell Enterprises. PepperEyes.com is dedicated to assisting the safety needs of those people who are unwilling to become a victim and are taking responsibility to protect themselves, their cars, or their possessions .In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.

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