As your daughters go off to college, with their new comforter, towels and coffee pot, make sure they’re not forgetting the most important thing: Their safety.
The first semester of college is when freshman women are at the most risk for sexual assault. 1 in 6 college freshman is sexually assaulted on campus. 15% are raped while incapacitated.
But, if they’re smart and prepared, they don’t have to become a victim.
Dr. Susan Scanlon is a gynecologist and the creator of the college prep workshop Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself and the author of the Gyne’s Guide for College Women. She says alcohol is the biggest contributor to sexual assaults on campus. It gets in the way of making good judgments.
“Women that have had four to six drinks in one event, 25% of these women will be sexually assaulted in the first semester of college,” Dr Scanlon said.
Four to six drinks increases your risk of being attacked. So how do you protect yourself? You have a plan.
Dr Scanlon suggests using the buddy system “so that when you go out, you always have someone looking out for you. “
And while it’s illegal to drink if you’re not 21, Dr. Scanlon knows it’s going to happen. Your night out plan should include designating a sober friend who’s judgment isn’t clouded by alcohol.
Don’t pre-game (drinking while you’re getting ready). And don’t play drinking games. You’ll never win.
“You need to not binge drink. You need to know your limit. You need to stick to your limit,” Dr Sanlon said.
It’s also important to protect yourself with your body and your voice.
Students learn skills and techniques for personal safety during the workshop.
Dorothy Gaters has been the girls’ basketball coach at Marshall High School for 40 years. She’s in the women’s basketball hall of fame. Four of her players were part of the training
“It’s a lot of scary things that these kids are going to be facing,” she said. “We hope that they are able to manage it.”
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