When we send our kids to college we think that they’re safe because they’re there to get a good education for a better quality of life. Yet, there are so many dangerous things that they are exposed to everyday. According to research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, they found that one in 5 women are victims of rape during or immediately after their freshman year.
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They surveyed a large private university in the northeast where 1 in 5 women ages 18 through 21 were being victims of attempted or forcible rape before, during, or immediately after their freshman year. A quarter said that drugs or alcohol were a factor in their vulnerability.
One of the most shocking findings was that there was a higher number of women sexually assaulted prior to entering college. Even though the study took place in just one college campus, it brings light to the importance of prevention efforts and campus safety.
The Department of Education is currently investigating more than 100 colleges and universities for mishandling sexual violence and harassment complains because it’s a violation of a federal law. New government regulations require schools to implement more rigorous training and prevention practices.
Not too long ago a Columbia student claimed a fellow college student raped her during her sophomore year. Since she had consented sex a couple of times prior to the rape and consented during the time the sexual encounter took place (even though it became violent), the charges were dropped. In protest she carried her mattress throughout campus as a protest and even brought the mattress to her graduation, shining light on this issue.
This story received national attention because it’s a reminder of how often rape happens and based on this research, many decide to brush it off and keep quiet. It’s important to speak to your children about the dangers that take place on campus, about drugs and alcohol and even though rape does happen more often than we think, this shouldn’t dissuade them from going to school away from home. There are many programs and campus safety tips that all students should know about prior to their first day of class.