Sexual Assault in College: Preventing Date Rape and Staying Safe

Learn how to protect yourself from sexual assault by using your college’s student safety services.

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A subject like date rape is never an easy one, but for college students, it’s important to be educated on the topic and take preventive steps to stay safe. It’s a sobering statistic that rape occurs on dates more than at any other time, but thankfully there are many things that you can do to prevent the dangers of sexual assault.

The majority of both male and female students involved in date rape reported the use of drugs or alcohol.

What Is Date Rape?

Date rape is typically defined as forced sexual intercourse between people who know each other. A full 84 percent of rape victims knew their attacker, according to the National Victims Center, which is why the act is also referred to as acquaintance rape.

Sexual assault does not have to include actual rape, but can be any unwanted or forced sexual activity including touching.

In 2000, it was reported that one out of eight women is raped during college.

Preventing Sexual Assault in College

Fortunately, colleges are taking more and more steps to reduce the amount of sexual assault on campus, and students can be proactive about their own safety.

Go places in groups and avoid walking alone on campus, especially at night. Go to parties with friends and be sure to leave together and keep track of each other. It may seem like a pain sometimes, but it’s not that big of a deal, and worth the peace of mind.

Be sure to limit your alcohol intake and watch your drinks at all times. Watching your drink is important, as drugs such as GHB or Roofies can be mixed with alcohol to sedate victims. If you leave a drink, make sure to never continue drinking it. Just get a new one. If someone offers you a drink, make sure you can see it being poured, or just always pour your own.

It’s important to note that comparatively very few instances of rape involve drugs such as these. Alcohol alone can be just as effective, so it’s important to limit or monitor your alcohol intake while at parties or with people. The majority of both male and female students involved in date rape reported the use of drugs or alcohol. You don’t have to swear off drinks to feel safe, but try to avoid becoming overly intoxicated in public.

Campus Services to Prevent Sexual Assault

College campuses have police escort services or walk-alongs that are free during the evenings. If you are worried about walking alone, you should call the service and someone will come to escort you back home. Some schools offer free taxi services as well. The escorts are either campus police or heavily screened by the police.

Aside from this, counseling services and education programs are always available in some form or another at your college.

Counseling Services

Schools offer counseling services as well, but there are always non-school counseling services to go to as well. They will help to deal with abuse, how to report abuse. And there are plenty of programs available for those who need them. It is important to remember that victims of rape are never at fault no matter what.

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