Know the Facts About College Safety…

August 27, 2010

Know the Facts About College Safety…

College is supposed to be one of the best times in a person’s life. With so much to learn and experience, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement. But what about safety? Though they might seem self-contained and cozy, college campuses aren’t isolated from crime.

Know the facts about college safety:
  • Rape is the most common violent crime on US campuses.
  • College students are victims of identity theft more often than other groups.
  • More college students are stalked than other groups.

Why is there so much crime on college campuses? When a bunch of young adults from all walks of life are thrown together, almost anything could happen.

Alcohol:

Having a few beers with friends at a bar is one thing, but getting tanked at a frat house filled with strangers is quite another. Alcohol plays a major role in sexual assaults. In fact, more than 70,000 college students are victims of an alcohol-related assault each year. If you want to stay safety-conscious, stay aware of how much you’ve had to drink.

Date rape drugs:

Your safety can also depend on who you know. Nearly all cases of date rape are instances where the victim knew his or her attacker. If you stop paying attention at a club or crowded college party, it’s easy for someone to slip an odorless, colorless date rape drug into your drink. Don’t be suspicious of all your friends, but keep an eye on your beverage.

Computer labs:

Labs aren’t the problem. Students who are unfamiliar with computer safety precautions are. Many college students frequent campus computer labs to study and communicate with family and friends. Unfortunately, these labs are the perfect breeding ground for identity theft. You jeopardize your safety every time you enter personal information into lab computers. Use a private desktop or laptop to check your bank accounts, pay bills, and shop online.

Sour relationships:

Campuses are a common place for stalkers to prey on their victims. When college relationships end badly, stalking can and does occur. Worse, campus stalkers are familiar with their victims’ daily routines. If you suspect you are being stalked, don’t wait for the situation to get out of control – notify the campus authorities immediately.

College safety guidelines:

It’s important to have a good time and enjoy your college experience, but you have to stay smart about safety. Just exercise good judgment and common sense:

  • Lock everything from your doors to your windows.
  • Keep an eye out for suspicious behavior and be aware of people as they approach you.
  • Check your car as you approach for someone hiding underneath or on the passenger side.
  • Don’t carry large sums of money.
  • Travel in groups for added safety.
  • Stick to well lit areas if you have to walk on campus at night.
  • Yell “fire!” instead of “help!” if you are in danger, because people are more likely to respond to that.
  • Don’t hang around outside your car or dorm room too long before going in.
  • Beware of headphones when you are jogging alone. They drown out any noise an approaching attacker might make.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you should be back.

These are all easy things that could make a big difference in your campus life. Don’t get so preoccupied with safety that it keeps you from having a good time, but keep your well-being in mind.

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