The sad truth is 90 percent of rapes or sexual assaults occur between people who already knew each other and that approximately half of rapes happen on dates. Here are some thoughts on how to protect yourself.
* Take your time in getting to know your date. Don’t spend time alone with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. This means using common sense and removing herself from situations that you don’t feel good about.
* Stay with a group of people. Avoid risky areas, such as dark streets and unpopulated locations.
* Avoid excessive alcohol. According to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol, more than 70,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 have been victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
* Be alert for possible use of “date rape drugs” such as Rohypnol, which is illegal in the United States. Someone can slip it into a drink. It causes drowsiness, a loss of coordination, dizziness and memory loss. Never take drinks from other people and don’t leave your drink unattended. SecureOnCampus.com sells Date Rape Drug Test Coasters
* Tell someone you trust your date’s name, destination and planned time of return.
* Always have money with you in case of emergencies.
* Avoid walking alone if possible.
* Walk with an air of confidence and stay alert.
* Walk in lighted areas.
* Keep your hand free, not overloaded. But always carry pepper spray for self defense
* Have your keys ready.
* If you are being followed: cross the street, scream, run to an occupied residence or store, or flag down a car.
Safety in Dorm Rooms
* Don’t hold the outer doors open and let people in who do not show student ID
* Doors and windows to your residence hall should be equipped with quality locks. Room doors should have peepholes and deadbolts.
* Do not loan out your key. Never compromise your safety for a roommate or friend who wants the door left unlocked. Replace locks when a key is lost or stolen.
* Use caution admitting strangers.
* Have good lighting around entrances.
* If you are a woman and live alone or with other women, use only your first initials on your mailbox and, when possible, in phone directories.
* Report suspicious activity to campus police—or to the police if you live off-campus.
* Keep windows up and doors locked.
* Park in well-lighted areas and travel on populated, well-lighted streets.
* Never pick up hitchhikers.
* If you have car trouble, signal for help by raising the hood or tying a white handkerchief to the door handle.
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