Campus “Red Zone” Is Not A Touchdown For Your Daughter
People sometimes ask us why we write about assaults on college campuses nearly every month. And that is a legitimate question. Here is the answer! For millions of young women ages 18 to 22, who are in institutions of higher learning, the risk of being sexually assaulted is the highest for any group in the country. Study after study from the Justice Department to the most recent Washington Post Kaiser Foundation study reveals that anywhere from one in five young women- and more-will be sexually assaulted before graduating.
As the leader in our industry of self-defense and home security products, I feel it is part of our obligation to do what we can to educate these targeted individuals and inform them and their parents of the risks and what they can do to protect themselves. Aside from that, it is one of the hottest topics in the country and has been for several years.
In one of our first articles that we wrote about the topic concerning the safety of your little girl in college we noted that the facts about assaults on college campuses are hard to ignore. They show consistently that close to 20-25% of all college age women will be assaulted during their four years at an institution of higher learning.
Not That Red Zone
All football fans know that the red zone is the last 20 yards on your opponent’s side of the field-typically the most difficult area to gain yardage and/or score a touchdown. It is a frequently used statistic gauging the effectiveness of an offense on any level in the sport.
In 2008, a study published by the Journal of American College Health may have been the first to use the term Red Zone when referring to unwanted sexual experiences during the first three to four months of the academic year. That is a time in a young woman’s life when she is most vulnerable. Young women are doing their best to assimilate in an environment that is completely different from anything they have known before. For almost all of these young women, they are experiencing a sense of newfound freedom away from parental supervision.
A 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study discovered that especially for first-year students, unwanted sexual experiences occur more frequently during the fall semester from August through November than any other time. This finding has resulted in many institutions conducting sexual assault awareness seminars for new students as part of their orientation.
Party, party, party; drugs and alcohol are almost always involved. Whatever the reason, many young women feel the need to “fit in” and may be easily lured into unwarranted sexual encounters by predatory, yes I said predatory, upperclassmen.
It is not too late in the school year for parents to warn their daughters about the dangers of the red zone.
In today’s article we will provide you with more stories about assaults on college campuses.
In our first story Sen.Casey, D-Pa. spoke to students at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford campus about new sexual assault protection for college students nationwide in the Campus SaVe Act which took effect on July 1st of 2015. The act provides requirements for uniform reporting of sexual assaults in the creation of clear guidelines for students and faculty to follow. It is one of the few laws that has some strict penalties behind it which include loss of federal funding. The senator was quick to point out that this law does not directly provide funding to aid schools implement the program but does recognize it as a priority. In other words, you folks have to do this but we’re not giving you any money for it.
Further evidence of the enormity of the problem of campus sexual assaults is the sudden explosion of products aimed at young women mostly to help them deal with the issue. Some examples are necklaces that hide mini panic buttons and fingernail polish that can detect date rape drugs in drinks. And of course there are all kinds of crash courses on how to get and give consent in a sexual connotation.
One such program is called Bringing In The Bystander cited by the White House as a promising program that teaches students to recognize when trouble is brewing and how best to step in and try to stop it. Another program is called Haven-a 45 minute online program that students do at home before they come to campus. A second 15 minute follow-up is offered on campus later in the fall. It helps schools comply with the law and is very effective.
In this article the authors claim that the myth has been shattered. They say that college campuses are not always a sheltered sanctuary of peaceful rolling green lawns and ivy-covered brick but are a home to hidden crime.
The article points out that no fewer than 85 universities are being investigated by the Office of Civil Rights, part of the Department of Justice. They point out that in a White House report 20% of women on campus are subject to sexual assault and that rape is a crime of secrecy and shame. The sad part about it is that most cases of rape are never reported for a wide variety of reasons. What the authors explored was how well University and college websites brought pertinent information to their students about how to prevent and respond to sexual assaults on campus. They found that only 15% of those surveyed had no mention of it on their websites and that two thirds or more of the websites contained very general information about their policy and how to report a crime. Only 15% of the University website survey offered any information about how to file an anonymous report.
It is safe to assume that no college campus is 100% free from sexual assault. The more information that colleges provide their students in a positive way perhaps the safer they will be.
While lawmakers make new laws and administrators administrate, parents should ensure that their daughters are armed with a self-defense product to protect themselves in the event of an attack. We highly recommend one of our Pepper Sprays. We have close to 200 of them to choose from. One of them will be just right for your daughter!
What tales of assaults on a college campus do you know of? Share your self-defense experiences with us!