With all our modern advances in technology and other areas of life, one issue that remains constant is the frequency of sexual assault on college campuses. Statistics show that one in five women experiences sexual assault during college. The first and second semesters at college are the riskiest for young women. Shockingly gay, lesbian, or bisexual women are more often targets for sexual assault than heterosexual women.
Why is Sexual Assault so Prevalent in College?
Although sexual assault happens to both men and women, it is particularly prevalent on college campuses. Here is why.
Peer Pressure – Young adults are prone to peer pressure and may engage in activities that they wouldn’t in other settings, such as going to parties, drinking, and using drugs.
Alcohol/Drugs – The prevalence of alcohol and drugs on college campuses may make it difficult for young people to make good decisions, or they may be too intoxicated to understand what is going on until it’s too late.
Reporting – Sadly, only 1 in 5 women who are assaulted sexually while in college report it to the police.
Campus Rules – Often, when reported, some college administrators will choose to deal with the situation in-house rather than report it to the police. Perpetrators may expect this and receive a light punishment or none at all.
How to Be Safer While in College
Some things you can do to stay safer while in college include:
- Never go to a private location with someone you don’t know. Instead, stay in a public setting surrounded by friends. Stay in groups; there is safety in numbers.
- Trust your gut. If something feels “off,” it is probably not safe. Seek safety immediately.
- Be careful about drinking too much or doing any recreational drugs around strangers. Also, never leave your drink unattended.
- Research resources ahead of time so that you know who to call for help if you feel unsafe.
- Always give yourself an escape plan and a way to get home safely.
What Should I Do if I am Sexually Assaulted While in College?
If you find yourself in a situation where you have been sexually assaulted, understand this is not your fault. You did nothing wrong. If you need immediate medical help, call 911.
If your attacker was another student, you might want to contact school administration and report it there as well. You should also contact the police and report it to them. Contact a close family member or friend for emotional support.
You can also use the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) for additional resources.
Consider hiring a sexual assault attorney for help with your case. Call Baron, Herskowitz, and Cohen for a private, respectful, compassionate consultation today.