Off To College… But First, Some Warnings For Your Daughter

It is that time of year again when millions of parents are sending their “little girl” away to college. For most of them it will be the first time that mom and dad will be separated from their child for any length of time, so they are filled with anxiety from this traumatic experience. The little girl on the other hand is filled with eager anticipation.

What they may not know about their chosen school is how dangerous it may be. And colleges and universities don’t do much to help shed light on this important subject. The Time Magazine May 2014 issue called America’s campuses “hazardous places for young women” particularly those who are 18 or 19 years old, just beginning their college experience.

In my story on the same subject where we discussed The Safety Of Your Daughter In College.We cited statistics from no less than the Justice Department and other law enforcement agencies they confirm that close to 20 to 25% of all college age women will be assaulted at some point during their four years at their college or university.

In today’s article we will share with you some stories and/or articles about college campus assaults including some tips on avoiding sexual assaults.

The first article is about new laws that went into effect as of July 1, Just In Time For The School Year. The new laws are the result of two years of work by legislators to propose a variety of statewide approaches to cracking down on campus sexual assault. The main law which was the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination or SaVE act was signed into law nearly 2 1/2 years ago. It gives you an idea how long it can take to enact change.

The new law is geared towards promoting transparency and prevention. Schools are required to make sure students are informed of counseling, advocacy and other resources available to them on campus and their options for reporting sexual assaults to campus officials and outside law enforcement as well as how their confidentiality will be protected during the process.

In our next story one campus is offering Sexual Assault Safety Tips aimed at high school students set to leave for college in the fall. The program is called “Know Before You Go” and offers tips to college freshmen on precautions that need to be taken as they set out on their own.

Among them are:

  1. Having supportive friends that you feel safe approaching when you are in an uncomfortable situation.
  2. Having easy access to the phone number of a school counselor as well as your room advisor.
  3. Having a safe word.  A word that can act as an SOS signal that she could discretely text to her parents and friends if she was in trouble.
  4. And finally a roommate or friend who knows where you are at all times.

They encourage parents to sit down with their daughters and have this chat regardless of whether children are comfortable with the topic or not-the conversation needs to take place.

This article talks about how the subject of campus assaults gets lost in the excitement and fervor of going away to college. It encourages parents and students to Take Campus Assaults More Seriously. Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll that reaffirms the 20% of young women who attended a college during the last four years say they were sexually assaulted. It also cites a New York Times investigation that shows colleges are terribly unprepared to handle sexual assault crime on campuses. That leaves students scarred for life.

In the 10 plus years that we have been writing about sexual assaults on college campuses we can’t remember ever seeing this Possible Solution To Assault Issue On Campus. During the time that we have been writing about this topic we have seen some bizarre proposals including arming female students with handguns and banning drinking on campus. And we realize that everyone has good intentions on this complicated subject, but maybe this will put some teeth into the punishment, which quite frankly is often a slap on the wrist.

It is clear to us through all this research and writing that one thing stands out: college men have no fear of recrimination against their deeds of sexual assault even though sexual assault is considered a felony in every state.

The proposal would require colleges and universities to make notations on academic transcripts noting a finding for “responsibility in code of conduct violation.” Under this proposal anyone looking at the transcript, from other institutions of higher learning to prospective employers would see a red flag. Virginia is the first state to enact such a law. We hope others will follow.

One area where may prove particularly effective is in collegiate athletics. Athletes change schools for a lot of different reasons, many of them valid. But it is also true that it seems that athletes have a higher propensity to commit sexual assault. If they knew they would be prevented from transferring because of a mark on their transcript for a conduct code violation we think they would think twice and word would get around faster than you can say lickety-split.

We heartily endorse the idea of parents talking to their daughters before they get off to college and having a heart to heart talk about the potential problems she may face and how she is going to deal with them.

We have always recommended that young women take a self-defense course to learn the basics and then arm themselves with a self-defense product such as one of our pepper sprays.

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Are you aware of how dangerous college campuses can be for your little girl? Share with us your secrets for protecting her.