Your Daughter’s Campus Safety and Security: 3 Tips


Although we like to think of our daughter’s years away at college as safe and idealistic, the reality is that her time at school puts her at risk. Enhancing your daughters campus safety and security is paramount

RAINN, (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, reports that close to 1 in 6 college-aged women received assistance from a victim services agency.

Although there is no 100% guaranteed strategy for keeping our daughters safe, there are many empowering precautions they can take.

Of course, the cardinal rule is to always use the Buddy System.  They learned it in kindergarten, and it’s a classic for a reason.  You don’t stop using the Buddy System just because you turn 18 – in fact, it’s more important than ever, because the stakes become higher as our daughters leave the protection of parents and home.

Here are 3 highly effective strategies to enhance your daughter’s personal safety both on and off campus:

1. Even If I Can’t See You, I WILL HEAR YOU.

That means headphones off, earbuds put away. No exceptions when in public. Some argue that wearing headphones is a useful social signal that indicates they don’t want to talk.  A predator just sees an easier target.  We need the full range of all our senses, at all times. Hearing alerts us to when we are being approached from behind. Police remind us that 90% of surprise attacks are launched from closer than 15 feet behind an unaware person.

2. BYOB.

Bring your own beverage and pay attention to it.  Ideally, this will be in a reusable bottle with an attached lid.  This dramatically cuts down on opportunities for someone to tamper with or switch the drink.  Remember, most often it is someone with whom your daughter is acquainted,  or may even know well, who will attempt to spike her drink. Even ice could contain a predatory drug, such as GHB, which is odorless, colorless and tasteless.  Have her bring her own bottle everywhere and protect it, all the time, just as she would her wallet.

3. Lock It Up, Lock It Down.

On university campuses, as in life, complacency sets in, and people get lax about locking doors and windows.  This can be especially problematic in dormitory buildings.  One person propping open a back door – even innocently, as a favor to a roommate, for example, puts everyone at risk. Unlocked windows are often an overlooked security risk, especially on the ground floor. If your daughter will be sharing off campus housing, seriously consider installing a lock on her bedroom door.

While the risks of college life are real, don’t let fear drive your daughter’s university experience.  Instead, incorporate these and other tips for personal safety and security as part of her education, which will empower her for life.
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— Jennifer Kaminer, 28 Feb 2017

 

Related:  Personal Safety Webinar for young Women in College 

 

 

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