Stay Safe on Campus! It’s time for back to school, and if you’re headed off to college, then you’ll need to know these tips for staying safe while away. Many of them apply to safety no matter where you live, but some are unique to campus life. Here are 8 ways to stay safe on campus — read them, know them, and live by them!
1. Know Your Way around
If you’re lost, you’re an easy target to on-campus predators. You’ll be confused, distracted, and easy to assault. Keep a campus map in your bag, and don’t wander around alone. If you need help, refer to a map rather than asking a lone stranger. If you do want to ask for help, ask campus police or a group of other women.
2. Know Where to Blue Phones Are
Most college campuses have blue-lit emergency phones that will connect you immediately with campus police. Know where they are, and don’t be afraid to use one if you feel unsafe! That’s what they’re there for… but if you don’t know where to find one, they won’t be any good at all.
3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Predators are always on the lookout for girls who look down at the ground when they walk and don’t make eye contact, or are distracted with a cell phone or have headphones in. Being aware of your surroundings is one of the best things you can do to stay safe on campus, or anywhere else for that matter! Don’t listen to headphones while you’re walking or jogging, unless you’re in a well-populated public area. Keep your head up, and make eye contact with the people you pass.
4. Don’t Walk around Alone at Night
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many women walk around campus alone at night. You’re really not any safer on campus than you would be in your own neighborhood at home, so why would you engage in riskier behavior away at school? Use the classic buddy system, and don’t walk around alone at night!
5. Make Sure Someone Knows Where You Are
You don’t have to call and check in with mom and dad every night, but you DO have to make sure that one of your friends knows where you and, who you’re with, and when you’ll be back all the time. Lame? No. Important for your staying safe on campus? Yes, absolutely!
6. Don’t Invite Anyone Back to Your Dorm!
I don’t care how cute that guy from your Trig class is — he’s a stranger, and you should not be inviting him back to your room! Women thought serial killer Ted Bundy was handsome and charming, which is exactly how he was able to lure them to their deaths. Be careful, and stay safe on campus, by keeping strange boy out of the bedroom!
7. Don’t Overload Your Arms with Books
If your arms are laden with books, you’ll be an easy target. I know you need those books and binders, but keep them in a backpack or book bag, slung across your shoulders, rather than being distracted and having your arms and hands full.
8. Report Anything Suspicious
After 18 years in captivity, during which time she could have been saved by multiple parole officers, do you know what finally saved Jaycee Duggard? A sharp-eyed set of campus police women, both following their instincts that something wasn’t quite right with her. Trust your instincts, and report anything suspicious to campus police. Don’t let them brush you off, either — you could save someone else’s life, and maybe even your own!
9. Watch Your Drink!
More often than not, when a girl is sexually assaulted on campus, it’s by someone she knows and trusts. And how do these guys gain access to a girl at a party to commit the assault? Many times, they’ll slip a drug into a girl’s drink. These drugs are odorless and tasteless, and will render you practically unconscious within minutes. Be careful! Keep a close eye on your drink, and again, make sure you’re with friends you can trust… and have a pact that at no time will any of you leave with anyone else.
So whether you’re headed to college for the first time, or you’re ready to start your last semester, follow these tips to stay safe on campus! And be sure to share them with your friends, too! Which of these tips for campus safety have you followed before? Which will you add to your routine? Or do you have another tip to share?
Top Photo Credit: Kelsey Wildstone