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Know the Facts About College Safety…

August 27, 2010 Comments off

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.

Fight Back; Dealing With Sexual Harassment On College Campuses…

August 16, 2010 Comments off

Fight Back; Dealing With Sexual Harassment On College Campuses…

Every 21 hours a college female is raped. Fifteen percent of all college women are sexually victimized during their time at school (U.S. Department of Justice study). Seven out of every ten college women will experience some form of sexual harassment (Planned Parenthood study) before graduation, but relatively few will report the incident. Unfortunately, in today’s world, learning about how to stay safe is just as, if not more, important than learning about history and math. Here are some steps you can take to avoid becoming just another statistic.

Get the Facts

The U.S. government defines “sexual harassment” as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Deliberately loosely written, this definition includes anything from inappropriate comments to unwelcome touching to sexual assault. Sexual harassment can occur on any campus at any time and can happen to any person regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or social/economic background. Harassment can take the form of verbal, nonverbal, or physical confrontation. The act is about power rather than sexual gratification, and those who allow sexual harassment to continue have their right to live in a positive, comfortable environment taken away.

Speak Out

Ignoring the situation only gives the harasser permission to continue. If you feel like someone is going beyond your comfort zone, tell him or her in a direct, assertive way. Specify exactly what makes you feel uncomfortable, and state that if the behavior continues, action will be sought. Documenting this statement in either letter or e-mail form (complete with dates and times) will provide proof that the conduct in question was recognized and that you asked for it to stop. Telling friends and colleagues will alert those around you, and telling professors and campus security will help prevent the action in the future. Should harassment become more severe, alert campus authorities, file an official complaint, file charges and seek help through your school’s crisis prevention center.  File a report with the city/town police department as well.

Speaking up against sexual harassment is the only effective way to protect yourself and your community from potential danger.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Special Investigation: The Silent Crimes On College Campuses: The Susan Murphy Milano Show: Monday June 28, 2010 at 9:00 PM EST and 8:00 PM CST

June 28, 2010 1 comment

Special Investigation: The Silent Crimes On College Campuses: The Susan Murphy Milano Show: Monday June 28, 2010 at 9:00 PM EST and 8:00 PM CST

The “CLERY Act,” requires institutions of higher education receiving federal financial aid to report specified crime statistics on college campuses and to provide other safety and crime information to members of the campus community.

But what happens when a University tries to hide and cover-up serious violent crimes on campus?

Join us as we investigate and discuss the silence on the college campus at Husson University in Bangor, Maine. And the tragic murder of Yeardley Love at the University of Virginia.

Our amazing line-up for tonight’s show includes Anny Jacoby, Owner/President of The Realistic Female Self-Defense Company.

Dr. James F Anderson a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at East Carolina University. Dr. James F. Anderson is a noted author of several books. he received a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from San Houston State University and a M.S. in Criminology from Alabama State University.

Peter Hyatt Investigator, State of Maine Statement Analysis Laboratory for Scientific Interrogation and Consultant on Crime Wire a show about unsolved and suspicious deaths.

Time: 9:00 PM EST 8:00 PM CST 7:00 PM PSTCall-in Number: (347) 326-9337

Show Link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/susanmurphymilano

Dating/Intimate Violence On College Campuses Is No Longer Taboo…

May 19, 2010 2 comments

Dating/Intimate Violence On College Campuses Is No Longer Taboo…

Abuse or assaults do not discriminate in any manner what-so-ever.  Abuse or assaults can rear it’s ugly head at any given time.  It is obvious to me and I hope you that our families and young people begin to understand that they need to be educated about dating violence and sexual assault. Ultimately their lives are in their own hands.

Students – you cannot rely on college administrations to protect you. Harsh and cold but true.  Violence on college campuses is no longer taboo.

Females – you are your best bodyguard but you have to be educated in all aspects.  Males – you need to reach out and be educated about how to control jealousy, anger management, behavior modifications and more. And, in the process of being a responsible individual you will hopefully become an Advocate against violence having the ability to stand by a friend who must seek help from either side.

Not being an abuser/assailant, not becoming a victim all starts within long before the opportunity of either exists.  I urge you to be proactive – you are worth it!

Food for thought for college administrators – why not consider putting into place a “required” class that every student entering your college must take to be educated about abuse and assaults?  Every student that is already enrolled must take the class within the next year.   Include physical self-defense training in the requirement for females.  Ultimately the goal is not to ever have to use the physical training but rather to know and have the ability to recognize the warning signs and know safety tips to ward off a potential assault.

Helping our young people to identify the red flags and warning signs that signal that their relationship is at risk are the most important steps.

Red flags. There are certain themes common to abusive dating relationships. They include:

Control. Does your partner: Use anger, intimidation, and jealousy to control your behavior? Try to control how you dress, what you eat, and who you talk to? Constantly check up on you or accuse you of being unfaithful? Make you afraid to disagree because you fear what may happen if you do? Threaten to reveal personal information if you don’t follow orders? Threaten to kill him/herself or someone else if you break up with him/her?

Belittling. Does your partner: Call you mean or vulgar names? Intentionally disrespect or humiliate you in front of others? Constantly criticize you and put you down? Purposely ignore you to punish you for behavior he/she doesn’t like? Insult your friends or your family? Make you feel as if nothing you do is right, or enough?

Isolation. Does your partner: Force you to drop activities you enjoy because he/she is not a part of them? Prevent you from having contact with your friends and family? Forbid you from talking to other guys/girls? Try to control where you go? Do you feel as if you can no longer have your own life?

Physical Abuse. Does your partner: Use threats to harm you to control your behavior? Throw things at you or pull your hair when he/she is angry? Hit, punch, or choke you? Purposely destroy your property to punish you? Force you to drink or do drugs? Force you into sexual behavior you do not want do to do?

The honeymoon phase. After an abusive incident, many abusers enter the honeymoon phase. Often they will apologize profusely, offer gifts, and make extensive promises about changing their behavior. This leads many victims to think that “It won’t happen again,” which makes it less likely that they will end the relationship.

Emotional roller-coaster. Victims of dating violence may experience a wide range of emotional responses to this abuse. They may feel shame and embarrassment, which may preclude their seeking help. They often experience extreme levels of stress, fear, anxiety, and depression. Many believe their abusers when they say that it’s “their fault,” and wind up experiencing self-blame and guilt. Still more lack the self-esteem to realize that they deserve a healthier relationship; they stay because they feel they can’t do any better.

If you are in immediate danger call 911.

If you are a victim of abuse or an assault; or if you know someone who is suffering at the hands of another individual please contact your local domestic violence/sexual assault agencies; call the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1-800-799-SAFE; LoveIsRespect.org, 866-331-9474 or The National Center for Victims of Crime, 800-394-2255.

You are not alone and YOU ARE WORTHY.

Yeardley Love Couldn’t Have Gotten a Restraining Order If She Wanted To…

May 18, 2010 2 comments

Yeardley Love Couldn’t Have Gotten a Restraining Order If She Wanted To…

Yeardley Love’s murder  has brought new light to dating violence on college campuses.  Perhaps the most disturbing new revelation is the fact that, despite, Huguely’s violent past, Love couldn’t have filed for a restraining order against him even if she wanted to. Virginia is one of eight states that excludes people in dating relationships—in other words, unmarried couples or partners—from getting protective restraining orders, and for the past three years, the state has failed an annual assessment of domestic-violence-protection laws. Presented by Break the Cycle, a national nonprofit that works to end domestic violence, the State Law Report Card assesses how easy, or difficult, it is for teens seeking legal protection from abuse. Writing for the Huffington Post, the organization’s executive director, Marjorie Gilberg, put it this way:  “Many of the blatant behaviors and warning signs that could have been leveraged for protection were not available to Love.”  “Laws are slow to change, and in this case, the laws are simply not keeping pace with the realities of dating violence,” Gilberg told NEWSWEEK. Virginia’s law, she added, also fails to protect victims of stalking, harassment, or property damage.

Do State Civil Domestic Violence Laws Protect Teens?

Break The Cycle

Teens and young adults are among the most likely to experience abuse in a relationship. Manystate domestic violence laws, however, do not protect those who need it the most. Below is a summary of how state domestic violence restraining order laws address some of the circumstances teen victims face.

Dating Relationships

· Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia allow victims of domestic violence who are dating their abuser to apply for a civil domestic violence restraining or protective order.

These states are: AK, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, ME, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OK, PA, RI, TN, TX, VT, WA, WV, WI and WY. Not all of these states use the word “dating” in the law or define dating in the same way. But, all thirty-eight include protection for victims in a dating relationship.

· Twelve states do not allow a victim who is in a dating relationship to apply for protection under their civil domestic violence restraining or protective order laws. These states are: AL, AZ, GA, KY, MD, NY, OH, OR, SC, SD, UT and VA.

· One of these states, Oregon, allows a victim who is in a sexual relationship with the abuserto apply for a restraining or protective order.

Know the law in your state and the state that your daughter is attending college.  Just another reason for knowing and understanding dating violence abuse education.

“It’s Time To Get Your Head Out Of The Sand…”

March 2, 2010 Comments off

Becoming educated makes a person more understanding, more aware and more comfortable with the truth.

It is time for females to get their heads out of the sand, understand the myths (excuses) and learn the facts (reality) of “realisitic” personal safety training/self-defense and to become proactive. There is not one form of personal safety training/self-defense that is 100% guaranteed. Weapons of every kind are not a guarantee either (we’ll look at this too). However, with education at least you may be able to detect (awareness), learn the ability to de-escalate a potentially dangerous situation and ultimately if a physical altercation occurs you will be better equipped with the knowledge of “realistic” defense.

We all have excuses for things in our lives that we don’t do or spend too much time doing. These excuses serve as deterrents preventing us from following through with action and benefits. When you begin to understand or experience the consequences of your excuses you get a really good reality check. This reality check (wake-up call) usually changes your way of thinking automatically.

The “myth concept” not only affects many areas in our lives but also has the same influence in the personal safety training/self-defense world. These myths make females apprehensive toward or opposed to personal safety training/self-defense.

A myth can be and often is used as an excuse for not doing something. The attitude, “it won’t happen to me” is a huge myth; every female should look in the mirror and realize that victimization does not discriminate. This is just plain ignorance if you believe that the possibility that you cannot be a victim is true. You have to debunk the thought that learning personal safety training/self-defense carries negative characteristics (aggression, arrogance, or violence). And, by not understanding that if trained properly to obtain the mental and physical abilities that you can possibly prevent or de-escalate an attack is a total underestimation on your part.

When we begin to understand the facts=reality of these myths=excuses we begin to understand objectives, the effectiveness and the technique of personal safety training/self-defense. We can save our life or the life of someone we love. We can prevent ourselves from becoming a statistic of crime. As I stated above, personal safety training/self-defense is not a guaranteed free pass from crime; however, your chances of survival and the ability to detect a possible altercation are increased significantly.

Becoming educated your level of awareness increases or is heightened, your intuition (gut instincts) are better in tune and your physical abilities are sharpened so that your chances of being attacked, raped or murdered are statistically lessened. You won’t broadcast that you know “self-defense” but you won’t walk down a certain street or in an area when your instincts (gut) kicks in and tells you to turn back. When someone grabs you from behind you won’t freeze but immediately your reaction will be to fight back upon recognition of your window of opportunity. You will see that a seemingly hopeless and defenseless situation has more opportunities for defense than you could have ever imagined.

Personal safety training/self-defense is NOT about being paranoid, it IS about being smart!

Knowledge is a powerful tool.

Stop making excuses and do something powerful for yourself and your loved ones – obtain Personal Safety Training. Training (mind, body and soul) that you will have for the rest of your life.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

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“It Won’t Happen To Me…”

March 1, 2010 Comments off

How many times have you said or heard someone say, “it won’t happen to me”? This myth suggests that crime victims are always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Let’s look at some cold, hard facts.

  • Almost 1 million incidents of violence occurs every year (visual only, the entire population of Montana)
  • 4 million American women experience a serious assault by a partner during a 12 month period (visual only, the entire population of Kentucky)
  • At least 1 out of every 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused during her lifetime
  • Every 2 minutes in America, someone is sexually assaulted and every 15 seconds a woman is battered
  • In 2007 there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault of females age 13 or older
  • 1 in 6 women in America will be a victim of sexual assault
  • 73% of all sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knew
  • 1 in 12 women in American will be stalked in their lifetime
  • 40% of girls age 14-17 report knowing a peer who has been hit or beaten by her boyfriend

Often the “it won’t happen to me” mentality extends to “I live, work, hang out in a “good” neighborhood. I am not likely to experience crime.” This attitude that females have is totally naive.

Do you honestly believe that the numbers stated above represent women who were walking around sleazy neighborhoods, putting themselves in vulnerable situations or inviting crime into their lives? Or do bad things happen, sometimes, for reasons that are unknown and in situations that are out of our control? Most of us live in our own little imaginary worlds where unspeakable things don’t exist. Most people don’t think that anything horrible will happen to them, whether it be a car accident, a fatal disease, divorce, or an assault. It always happens to someone else, someone else’s wife, daughter or child. At about the age of fifteen it becomes apparent that things don’t always go our way and bad things happen.

Surely you know five other females besides yourself that has been or is likely to be raped. If this doesn’t concern you, it better, or at least give you something to seriously think about.

The sad part of the “it won’t happen to me” mentality is that it is not ingrained in our minds until something terrible happens in our “own backyard” or family. At this point, it’s too late. When we don’t raise our level of awareness and think offense and defensively we run the risk of being caught off guard.

In the personal safety/self-defense world, you can try to PREVENT yourself from becoming a statistic by paying more attention to your surroundings and learning how to protect yourself should something happen. This is the same reason that we have health, life and automobile insurance – you never know what might happen and when you may need to use the coverage – but if the worst should occur, you better be prepared. Why wouldn’t you do this for yourself, loved ones and friends – be prepared if God forbid something would happen that you would have to rely and personal safety training?

Always be prepared.

Don’t be NAIVE.

It’s not about strength – it’s about knowledge and knowledge is a powerful tool!

Take care and STAY SAFE!