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Self Defense-Back to School Part II
Why is it do you suppose that the incidence of rape at institutions of higher learning is far above the national average with the notable exception of religion based colleges? Two year institutions are leading the way over their four year counterparts. More and more anecdotal evidence leads to the inescapable conclusion that alcohol is a major contributing factor.
Let's look at some other facts:
1. Women ages 16-24 are four times more likely to be raped than all other women.
2. 84 % of women who were raped knew their assailant.
3. 57% of all rapes occur on a "date".
4. 75% of male students involved in date rape had been drinking or using drugs.
5. One out of every eight women will be raped while in college.
These are the reported figures. There is a lot of data suggesting that most rapes go unreported. One study showed that only 5 % of victims of rape or attempted rape report it to college police. Fear of reprisal, fear and shame, fear of publicity, fear the family will find out and fear that the campus judicial system will not work are some of the reasons for this under reporting. Additionally University administrators and college police are under a lot of pressure to show their campus as a safe place for mom and dad to send their girl to school.
Most people agree that the key to the problem is education. Education for men about the risks and consequences of committing sexual assaults and for women on preventative measures they might take to help protect themselves. Some of those steps would include:
1. Self defense classes. Learn how to defend yourself.
2. Never walk alone at night.
3. Always carry some non lethal self defense weapons such as pepper spray or a stun gun.
4. When at a party team up with someone else and use the buddy system of watching out for each other.
5. When going out on a date for the first few times meet him somewhere rather than have him pick you up in his car.
6. Trust your instincts. If the situation you are in doesn't feel right it probably isn't--GET OUT.
University officials can take a stronger "zero tolerance" attitude about rape and sexual assault. Education is their business. More emphasis for college freshmen on the dangerous side effects of alcohol should be part of their orientation. As always the bulk of the burden will fall on the potential victim that's why they call it self defense. If you think crime can only happen to the other guy you are wrong. The "other guy" is thinking the same thing and YOU are that "other guy".
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