Most colleges will begin the Fall semester in mid August and many naive and unassuming students will fall victim to crimes such as burglary, sexual assault and date rape. The result will likely change the victims life forever. Fortunately there are things you can do and actions you can take to help prevent becoming the next statistic.
At Guardian Self Defense, our business is personal security and it all starts with being aware of your surroundings. Think about the vast and diverse settings you may be exposed on campus. Students go from the dorm or apartment to classes, they go to eateries, the library, to the bookstore, maybe to walk or exercise, and out to party and socialize. Things happen very quickly, especially for freshmen, who are adapting from high school to college. There are lots of opportunities for students to make mistakes and potentially find themselves in a very difficult spot without the ability to get help.
Here are some tips and best practices that can really save the day!
Always pay attention and be aware of your surroundings. PREACH this to your friends, family, and anyone you can. You could prevent a crime and save a life.
As you walk to and from classes; maybe you like to walk or jog for exercise. Whatever the case may be, try to find a friend(s) to accompany you.
If you have trouble finding a "buddy", then you need to consider investing in some sort of non-lethal self defense product that will allow you to protect yourself if necessary.
Learn to manage your body language. Walking confidently, take the most direct path and keep at a steady pace. Appearing to be strong and confident is a huge detterent; rapists target those who seem to be vulnerable.
Parties, going out with friends, and just having a good time are part of the college experience and overall produces very positive experiences for most. Some however will inevitably be the victim of crime that takes advantage of their physical and mental state. Usually this is the result of consuming drugs and/or alcohol. It is a known fact that drugs and alcohol inhibit our ability to make decisions; there are criminals that prey on this.
Safety At Parties, Bars or Clubs
Always choose to get your own drink. Do not allow anyone to get a drink for you. In fact, if you did not watch it being poured, don't drink it.
Once you have a drink don't leave it unattended. If you do, pour it out and get another.
Don't share or taste another persons drink.
If you think a drink tastes funny or different, dispose of it immediately.
Most of today's date rape drugs are odorless, colorless and tasteless. So chances are you many not even realize anything has been added to a drink until it is too late. That's why setting up a system with close friends, prior to going out is essential. How you do it is up to you, but make sure it accomplishes the goal of making sure that at least one person in your group is always sober, alert and watching out for the safety of your group. It is important that there is a mutual trust between you and others in your group. Doing this could save a someone from being, sexually assaulted, raped or even killed. Other common sense approaches include:
Use caution if someone tries to stop you for directions or money. Reply from a distance with a firm NO. Then continue on your way. Many crimes are committed using this approach. When the victim opens their wallet or gets close enough; they are attacked and robbed.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are in trouble or feel you are in danger, don't be afraid to attract help anyway you can. Scream, yell, run. Consider carrying a personal security alarm or pepper spray.