With the excitement of new environments and friends, many college freshman are unaware of the dangers and risks during their first year of college. In 2014, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault found that 1 in 5 college students experienced sexual assault during their college careers.
Safety Tips for College Students
Unfortunately, over half of sexual assaults committed against college students occur when one or more of the individuals involved are intoxicated or under the influence. To help keep your student safe, make sure they know these basic safety guidelines.
With sexual assault on college campuses in the recent spotlight, many college campuses around the nation are updating their policies to help better protect their students and raise awareness about what consent means and looks like.
New Policies Implemented by the University of Minnesota
This fall, University of Minnesota school officials have created new policies that more clearly outline what constitutes consent and what is classified as sexual assault. The U of M campus is initiating a campaign known nationwide as the “Yes Means Yes” campaign. Opposite of the “no means no” policy, this raises awareness about “affirmative consent,” when a sexual partner must imply that they are comfortable to move forward through their words or actions.
However, the new policy is creating confusion with the students. “It does not mean you need to sign a contract,” said U of M student body president Joelle Strangler in an interview with Kare 11. “I believe that’s been incredibly misleading to the public and to students here. I’ve had a number of concerns brought to me.”
The new policy is meant to help students better understand and know what to do in situations where consent is unclear. School officials hope the new policy helps bring up conversations between students and prevent undesired sexual encounters.
What to Do if You or a Friend is a Victim
For incoming freshman, it is important to know what your institution’s policies are on rape and sexual assault. But more importantly, know where you can find help. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) has online resources that can help you know how to report the crime to the police, recover from sexual violence and where to get help.
If you or someone you know have suffered from any type of abuse or exploitation, a O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss attorney can help you take legal action and guide you through the legal process. For more information about our team, please visit our website or give us a call at (877) 235-8002.
Image courtesy of Amariotti/Wikipedia.