College students are particularly vulnerable to victimization. Many are living away from home for the first time. New freedoms and peer pressures contribute to this vulnerability. A tragic result is that sexual assault is the most common violent crime committed on college campuses today. In fact, research suggests that sexual activity may be forced on as many as 25 percent of all college females. Most of the assaults are committedby someone known to the victim. Though it is much less frequent, men can also be sexually assaulted.
The more you know about sexual assault prevention, the better your chances are of never becoming a victim.
General Prevention Strategies
• Be aware of your surroundings — who’s out there and what’s going on.
• Keep to familiar, well-traveled and, after dark, well-lighted areas.
• Walk with confidence. The more confident you look, the stronger you appear.
• Have your key ready to use before you reach the door — home, car, or work.
• Use the campus escort service.
Campus Police provide free Escort Service to and from buildings and parking area.
Use any campus pay phone to call: 949-582-4585 or x 4444 from any campus phone
In Social Settings
• Tell someone where you are going, who you’ll be with, and when you expect to return.
• Don’t let drugs or alcohol cloud your judgment. Alcohol and drugs can compromise your ability to make responsible decisions and are often related to date rape situations. This applies to both potential victims and potential assailants.
• Never leave your drink unattended.
• Choose settings for social activities very carefully. The proximity of other people heightens your safety, but does not guarantee it. "Gang rape" happens in spite of the presence of others because the group collaborates in the crime.
• Be assertive — communicate your limits clearly and don’t let anyone violate your space.
In Public Settings
• Be wary of isolated spots, like underground garages, offices after business hours, and apartment laundry rooms.
• Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
• Do not hitchhike. A hitchhiker forfeits the ability to change direction and control of his/her movement.
• Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
• Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace on the side of the street facing traffic. A rapist looks for someone who appears vulnerable.
• Walk close to the curb. Avoid door- ways, bushes, and alleys where rapists can hide.
• If you think you are being followed, walk quickly to areas where there are lights and people. If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk on the other side of the street.
• If you are in danger, scream and run, or yell “fire.”
• Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you — especially if you are alone or it is dark. Know where help may be if you should need it.
• Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
• Lock your door and your windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes.
• Install a peephole viewer in your door and use it. NEVER open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Require salespeople or repair people to show identification.
• Use only your last name and initials on mail boxes and in telephone directories.
• If strangers telephone or come to your door, don’t admit that you are alone.
• Hang up on obscene callers, and do not give any personal information over the telephone.
• Don’t let any strangers into your home— no matter what the reason or how dire the emergency is supposed to be. Offer to make an emergency phone call while they wait outside.
• If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or garage by yourself, especially at night.
• If you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry, DON’T GO IN! Go to the nearest phone and call the police or sheriff.
• Watch your keys. Don’t lend them. Don’t leave them. Don’t lose them. And don’t put your name and address on the key ring.
In Your Car
• Park in well-lit areas and lock the car, even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes.
• Drive on well-traveled streets, with doors and windows locked.
• Have your car keys in your hand and check the back seat area before entering your car.
• Always lock your car doors after entering or leaving your car.
• Never hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker.
• Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank at least half full.
• If your car breaks down, call for help on your cellular phone. If you don’t have a phone, turn on your flashers, put the hood up, and lock the doors. If someone stops to help, wait inside your car with the doors locked and ask them to call the police or a tow service for you.
• If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place or to a police or sheriff’s station.