Whether it is in the workplace or at home, sexual assault is a terrifying ordeal that no one wants to go through. That said it happens all too often to so many people.
One venue that should seem safe is college.
Unfortunately, some schools get bad grades when it comes to educating the public and preventing sexual assaults on campus.
For many victims (oftentimes women), recovering from a sexual assault can take a long time. In some cases, the recovery time can seem infinite.
With that in mind, what are some of the warning signs of sexual assault on campus and what can be done to prevent it?
Be Pro-active in Preventing Attacks
First and foremost, those sexually assaulted on college campuses should never feel like they brought the crime on themselves.
Yes, some activities on campus (especially excessive drinking) can put students in harm’s way, but that still does not legitimize someone being sexually assaulted. Whether it was one drink too many or the manner in which someone is acting and/or dressed, the bottom line is that sexual assault is never justified.
That having been said, here are some ways to be pro-active in lessening the chances of becoming a sexual assault victim, along with how to deal with the crime if you’re a victim:
- Environment – Always be sure to put yourself in as safe an environment as possible. Sexual assault criminals look for individuals that they feel are “soft” targets. If you’re out partying, always use the buddy system, especially on the way home. That means not leaving a bar or other venue by yourself if you’ve had too much to drink (oftentimes, individuals feel like they’re capable of getting from one location to another after a few drinks). If you or your friends call a cab or other form of transportation for you, ride with a friend. Placing someone that has had too much partying in a cab etc. by themselves is not a 100 percent guarantee they will arrive home safely;
- Aggression – If you’re at a venue on or off campus, be on the lookout for individuals that are too aggressive towards you or your friends. Aggression can be either verbal or physical, including unwanted advances, lude comments, asking for lots of personal information etc. If someone is being too aggressive towards you, let them know immediately that you want them to stop. In the event they continue such acts, report them to friends or security;
- Assault – In a case where you feel you’ve been sexually assaulted (sometimes it is not immediately apparent if the victim is not aware of what is taking place or happened), seek help as soon as possible. Not only should you report the matter to authorities, but also look to get a sexual assault defense attorney on your side. Those that perpetrate sexual assault crimes oftentimes figure and/or hope the victim will not file charges. This can be due to a number of reasons, including not remembering all that happened, fear of retribution, embarrassment etc. Never feel like you did anything to warrant the crime against you;
- Educate – In the event you have been sexually assaulted, use your experience to educate others. While you may feel it was your fault or you are scared of speaking out, know that you could help prevent the next attack. Oftentimes, such crimes go unreported, leaving the criminal or criminals to act out on others, this being a casual encounter or someone you have known for some time now.. If your experience can prevent one other person from going through a similar ordeal, educating others on the signs to look for of a possible attack are well worth it. Lastly, seek the support of others that have been victims. Joining sexual assault groups, talking with those that have had similar experiences, can be mentally rewarding, reminding you that there are others out there having gone through sexual assaults.
While it would be nice to live in a world where sexual assaults are not reality, the bottom line is they happen far too often.
Preventing yourself from becoming the next sexual assault victim is something you should not have to worry about, though the possibility is always there.
Don’t fall victim and become the next statistic.