This is a touchy subject no doubt, and one which is often not talked about as much as it should. Most human rights organizations will tell you that rape cases are far higher than those reported.
Victims, young college-going women, are either afraid of what speaking out might do to their reputation or how it could impact their academic performance. Not to mention walking around with a lifetime of emotional scars. What’s more disturbing is that the ones summing up the courage to raise their voices, are at times, ignored by the authorities who are in a position to take necessary action.
For this reason, many watchful parents have decided to put their daughters through online education or private schooling only.
In a Crisis Connection US study, it was revealed that rape on campus occurs every 21 hours in American colleges. This crime has become quite widespread in some college and universities, perhaps since young people in our society are not always equipped with a good sex education. Another reason may be attributed due to the perversion and obscenity you see on mass media; this has a potent and lethal tendency to affect the psyche of young men when it comes to drawing sexual expectations.
As we speak, there’s a raging debate in Asia, Europe and the US among education specialists so as to how sexual harassment should be defined. A November 2014 report released by the honorable MIT University revealed that a sixth of female students in their Institute were victims of sexual assault. Unfortunately, many are oblivious to the fact that what they experienced was in fact, a violation and should have been reported.
It was also concluded that 17% female undergraduates, including 5% make undergraduates reported experiencing unwanted sexual advances that also involved physical threat, use of force, even incapacitation.
Read more: Sexual violence issues on college campuses
As it is, rape is utterly and universally unacceptable, sexual harassment is an important precursor that cannot be ignored – it can lead to many serious rape cases which often go unnoticed.
Frat and college parties have a notorious reputation for being a center stage for young men to prey on unsuspecting females. You have the right to go to parties and enjoy them (within reason); however, you must exercise the utmost caution as a young woman. Here are some pointers.
Watch That Drink
At a party, you just can’t be too sure about the people around you. Sure, some of them might be close friends, but there’s no guarantee they’re going to behave responsibly. Either way, you’re there with the intention of enjoying yourself and making it a night to talk about for ages. However, others might want to make it memorable in a very different way.
You need to have what Air Force pilots or police officers refer to as ‘good situational awareness’. Now this is not to say you must watch everybody who comes your way, like a hawk. Rather, bring your spatial intelligence into play and be consciously aware of your surroundings and happenings.
Someone might casually slip something “funky” into your drink. Common party drugs like ecstasy, Rohypnol or even too much alcohol can easily cloud your judgment. Among the most lethal ‘date rape’ drugs is Ketamine, a white powder or liquid, which has a pungent and strong, bitter flavor. It takes a mere few seconds to render someone unconscious for hours. Have fun, but don’t let your guard down too much. Be wary around strangers, even if they’re friends of your friends.
Do Some Recon
No matter how well you know the host or “party throwers”, it’s a good idea to get some “intel” on the party that’s happening. Visit the venue beforehand if possible. Inquire about the dress code, the kind of crowd that’s going to be there, how you’re going and coming back, and how long the drive takes. Sometimes, it may not be possible to get all this info, but you can always ask a person or two and then get it double checked. If you’re going through a cab, always share it with someone. Under no circumstances, should you travel alone.
Read more: Why the Campus Rape Crisis Confounds Colleges
Be a Groupie
Women love travelling in groups, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise. If going in a group isn’t possible, take at least a well-trusted friend or two. It’s always good to know you’ll have someone to rely on in case a potentially unpleasant situation arises.
Let the Mother Hen Lead the Pack
We all know how wild things can get at a college party. The group “mother hen” can help ward off any ‘ambitious’ sexual predators. You could also appoint her as the designated driver who ensures all group members are not lured into any uncalled for situations, and reach home safely.
One of the key prevention methods is to keep a close eye on how much alcohol is consumed. The relationship between sexual abuse and alcohol is a lot stronger in females while under the influence, as opposed to their sober counterparts. In other words, females have a lot less control over their active decision making abilities as opposed to men. In most cases, the predator won’t be too intoxicated anyway.
Most universities have active security programs that are designed to counter such situations and guard student rights. You should always have that info handy.