College Safety

We are stepping into August and it’s time for our young people to head back to school.  If you have a young woman or know of a young woman heading to her first year of college, or even heading back to college, you may want to share this article with her. 

There are some alarming statistics related to the safety of college students.  But no one promised us that the world was safe, and while it might not look like one, we all live in the jungle known as the civilized world!

During our presentation on “Victim Proofing Women”, we discuss the reality that there are unsavory people in society that prey on women.  Unfortunately, we provide an inadequate educational foundation for the safety of women as they step out into the world.

For both men and women attending college; their first semester may be their most dangerous.  They are stepping into a new environment, away from the safety of parents and friends, learning to deal with being on their own, trying to fit in and struggling with new and different aspects of life.  And women are more likely to be targeted by predators as a result of the disruptions related to the chaos of being on their own.

While a lot has been written on this subject, it still bears repeating as every year, between August and November, first year female student attacks rise.

If you have a child heading off to their first year of college, or even if it’s a second – third – of fourth, insist that they are aware of the risks of college life, dating safety and person safety awareness. 

We want to provide you and your child with some basics, and if this article sparks and interest to learn more; there are programs offered by law enforcement agencies to ratchet up the learning curve on personal safety for women. 

The most important action a woman can take, and we can’t emphasize this enough; is to BE ALERT.  Just as it was important to learn to look both ways before crossing a street as a child, so is the importance of being alert to your surroundings as a young woman.  When you leave the safety of the classroom, the dorm, a group of friends; put your phone in your pocket and keep your head up and your eyes looking around you.  DO NOT let someone sneak up on you!

Additionally, try not to go anywhere by yourself.  If you can identify or find a friend to be by your side; there really is safety in numbers. 

Below are a few topics to consider; and some action items that can help keep you safe while establishing a foundation for your professional future.

  1. Always keep the door (and windows) to your room locked; whether you’re in the room or away (even if you’re just going next door). Additionally, keep the door to your residence hall closed and locked.  And don’t let anyone into the residence hall that you don’t know.  Keep your keys with you at all times.  If in your room, put your keys in a specific location every time you enter the room after you’ve locked the door.
  2. If you can’t arrange for a friend to join you, use the campus escort service. Regardless, always let someone you trust know where you’re going and who you’re supposed to meet; and have your friend call you at predetermined times.  There are phone apps that provide ‘flight following’.  Find one that works for you and USE it.  While you’re at it, add emergency numbers to your phone and set them up to be at the top of your contact list.
  3. Listen to your inner self.  If something doesn’t feel right, excuse yourself and LEAVE, don’t worry about being polite – protect yourself.
  4. While in public, DO NOT let your drink leave your hand. If you do, order a new one.  If out with friends, DO NOT leave, and don’t be allowed to be taken away by yourself.  If you feel dizzy, drowsy, fatigued or have slurred speech, immediately find your friend or a police officer.  Drugs and alcohol are most commonly associated with sexual assault. 
  5. If you have access to a Victim Proofing Women or Rape-Aggression-Defense course, sign up – and bring a friend.
  6. Find a defensive tool that you can learn to use and take classes on how to use that tool. Defensive tools include:  Kubaton or Tactical Pen, Mace, Pepper Spray, Tasers, Stun Guns and of course a Pistol.  Each one requires training and practice; some require licensing and/or certification. We recommend something that you can take to any class or facility and can easily use if needed.

As we have mentioned in previous articles, we as individuals are responsible for our own safety and security.  Take 10-15 minutes to learn, then set up a schedule to prepare and train.  If you become a target, you won’t have time to think; you only have time to react!  

We don’t want you to be paranoid, we just need you to pay attention and be prepared.  Watch for a Victim Proofing Women class at SRR and learn more about sexual assault and prevention at

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

© Copyright 2022 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

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