Its that time of year and THE year that you’ve anxiously anticipated.. time to move off to college! Senior year finally came to a close and alas, there is nothing else you can do to “boost” your GPA. You’ve got that new bedding for your dorm, enough toiletry accessories to last a lifetime, and even the proper immunizations that were required, but after all that, you are missing something very important!
Did you know that you have a 1 in 4 chance of being sexually assaulted in the next 4 years? Imagine sitting with 3 of your best friends- one of you will be a victim. Though this is so freaky to think about, no matter where you go to college, who your parents are, or where you were raised, you are not unique.
It’s Time To Get A Game Plan: 5 Things To Know To Help Prepare
1. Your Friends Matter
The right group of supportive friends around you in college is essential. An easy way to be a good friend is a commitment to making sure each of your friends gets home safely at night. At the same time, be aware of the actions of the men around you. Do they encourage one another to take advantage of an intoxicated girl? If this is the case, choose to hang out with different men who treat women with respect.
2. Men Commonly Choosing Victims Within Social Networks
Although most men do not commit sexual assault in their lifetime, 10% of them do. Based off of research, these men tend to be repeat offenders and commonly choose victims within social networks. If you ever hear a rumor regarding someone to “keep your distance from,” pay attention and don’t allow yourself to be in a private situation with them.
3. Alcohol Is Usually A Central Part of The Plan
Alcohol is usually a central part of the plan. Alcohol increases the chances that these illegal behaviors can occur. Furthermore, alcohol makes it more difficult to resist attacks. With this being the case, know your limits and stick close to friends who can all help keep an eye on one another. And never accept an open drink from a stranger.
4. Be Brave
With these statistics, it is important for each one of us to remember that we can help save someone’s life by intervening or going to get help. Don’t underestimate your ability to help change a situation for the better.
5. Know What Resources Are Available to Help
Most campuses keep you informed of any campus crimes that have occurred. If you hear about this, make sure to spread the word too so that others know too. Also, if you happen to have been a victim of assault, go to your local campus crisis center to get help and have someone to talk to about it, or you can reach out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline where you can receive help.