By: Sam Jones
Within the past few weeks, there have been stories about sexual assault and harassment heard from our very own campus that has sent chills down anyone whose listening’s spine. We unfortunately live in a world where we must learn to protect ourselves. The best way to deal with a situation like this is to learn about the best and most legal course of action.
The first and arguable the most important piece of advice would be to never be alone. Always travel in groups, and never be with someone alone unless you know they are trustworthy. Assaulters know how to make themselves come off as innocent minded. They tend to be very manipulative and have a certain slang that makes their victims feel safe. Being naïve about this will get you in a lot of sticky situations. When in a situation like this your gut with 9 times out of 10 will tell you to get out. However, this tends to be ignored or dismissed. Always trust your gut.
Whenever you enter night life, come prepared, carry some form of self-defense. Although, having pepper spray or a weapon can get you in trouble (and depending on the officer could get you in more trouble than the assaulter) there are items that can keep you safe that are legal. Invest in a whistle. If you are of age for alcohol consumption, purchasing a drink cover can keep your drink safe. This is usually a silicone cover that stretches over cups to keep from potentially drugging in a club or bar setting.
Lastly, if you do decide to pursue someone, and know that you aren’t interested in sexual intercourse, let somebody know where you are going. Never go somewhere without letting a close friend know the situation, preferably a friend who is readily available to come if they are needed.
If you follow these steps, you should be safe. However, there are always special situations where despite doing everything you can to stay safe, you could still be put in a bad spot. Links to defend yourself can be found here.