Summer wanes and autumn approaches, and that means the start of schools, including colleges and universities. And with that comes concern for safety on campus. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice between 1995 and 2013, women ages 18 through 24 (college-age) were more likely to become a victim of sexual assault than women in other age groups. Many college and university campuses are stepping up efforts to protect students from sexual violence, and the U.S. Senate recently discussed a bill to hold schools more accountable and to enable them to take a stronger stand against such violence.
According to the group RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network), one American is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds. There are many things a person can do to help keep themselves safe. Here are a few:
- When at a party, keep your drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) with you at all times. Date rape drugs are prevalent and are often used to incapacitate a person, and thus that person can become a victim of sexual assault.
- Don’t accept drinks (again, whether alcoholic or not) from people you don’t know well.
- Keep an eye on your friends. If you go somewhere together, leave together also, and check in with each other occasionally.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, get out of the situation … and tell your friends about your feelings.
- Keep your cell phone close to you … and use it if needed.
Find more safety tips at https://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-prevention/alcohol-safety.
Statistics show that nearly 80% of sexual assault victims on college campuses know their attacker, and 80% of those victims don’t report the crime. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, don’t bear the burden alone – contact local law enforcement (and Casper College Campus Security if you’re a CC student), talk to a trusted friend, and contact RAINN’s national hotline for assistance, available online and by phone (800-656-4673). Both the Natrona County Sheriff’s Department and the Casper Police Department have Victim’s Services personnel to help you; the Self Help Center (307-235-2814) also provides advocates in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault.
If you’ve been raped and are concerned you might be pregnant or have an STD (sexually transmitted disease), True Care Women’s Resource Center offers free pregnancy and limited STD testing. We also provide pregnancy options consultations. Call us today at 307-215-9684 to set up an appointment.
If you are the victim of sexual assault, please seek services – there are many agencies and organizations in our community available to help you, including True Care.
Here are a few more resources regarding sexual assault and college campuses for further information and empowerment: