About 20 to 25 percent of college women are victims of attempted rape or rape, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Other statistics indicate that at least one in four women report surviving rape or attempted rape by the time they reach the age of 14. In general, only two percent of reported sexual assaults appear to be false.
Recently, two students at North Carolina State University reported assaults, according to media outlets.
Campus police have released a video of a person of interest in the first attack, which occurred early in the morning on April 25 near the school’s Free Expression tunnel.
Five days later, a student reported that she had sprayed a man with pepper spray after he approached and put his arm around her. The man fled, she said.
Tips for Staying Safe
Although there is no surefire way to protect yourself from sexual assaults on campus, some safety practices may reduce the likelihood of being attacked:
- Walk in groups at night.
- Remember that alcohol plays a significant role in college sexual assault. Remain alert at parties and when you are leaving them.
- Always keep your cellphone charged and at your side.
- Consider carrying pepper spray. However, keep in mind that any weapons you possess could be used against you in an attack if you are overpowered by the perpetrator.
- Take self-defense classes. Many organizations such as R.A.D. offer self-defense classes in which you role play an assault from many different angles, such as an attack from behind if you are at an ATM. A trained instructor will teach you safety techniques, which you will use against your mock attacker during class.
- Be aware of your surroundings and travel only in well-lit areas.
- Say “no” loudly and firmly. Also using the word “rape” can shock attackers into abandoning their course.
- Seriously consider whether it is safe to resist. Statistics show that women who are forced into cars are much less likely to survive than those who fight. However, an armed attacker makes the decision about whether to fight more difficult. Try to talk the attacker out of doing it, or even lie and say you have a sexually-transmitted disease. Don’t be afraid to urinate or start mooing like a cow if you think it will make your attacker stop.
- Report the assault immediately to campus police.
The Raleigh family law attorneys at Charles Ullman & Associates are alarmed at the number of sexual assaults occurring on college campuses today and have provided a resource guide for victims on our website. The guide also provides contact information for victims to report their attacks to law enforcement and campus police.