Surviving the Red Zone sexual assault and domestic violence on Freshman Female Students
For many teens that graduate high school, moving on consist of attending a community college, state or university. It is an essential milestone on the road to adulthood. This transition often includes increased independence, new opportunities for personal and social exploration, as well as academic and intellectual development. However, with these burgeoning prospects for positive growth, there comes the increased potential for experiencing negative consequences that may result from issues such as financial and academic-related stress, social isolation, substance abuse, and damaging personal relationships.
It is essential focus on two key aspect which are impacting college students all over the country: alcohol consumption and attitudes/behaviors surrounding sexual assault. My daughter has just completed her first month as first time freshman in college. My overwhelming concerns for her are her well-being, health, and safety which seems to be part of the norm .for parents. After checking her in her dorm, open her first bank account, shopping for laundry baskets, and containers for clothes, it was time say our good-byes. “It is time to grow up. This is what you wanted.” Yes, it was a difficult transition and I had to let her go. She did all the work to get there: preparing for and completing SAT, completing college applications, meeting with admission counselors, track and field coaches, writing her personal statement and biography, and seeking scholarships and financial aid opportunities. It is difficult to fathom that my baby is a first time freshman. I still want to protect her. Now the only way to do that is with information and knowledge, so that the college transition will not become a nightmare. I cringed as I study the statistics of freshman female who become prey to rape and sexual assault and enter the “Red Zone.”
How can I prepare my daughter for surviving in the “Red Zone?” The first six weeks of college are considered a "red zone" for incoming freshmen when it comes to rape. According to officials at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the first month and a half of college is the time when freshmen women are most likely to be raped or experience attempted rape. Rapes do occur frequently on and around college campuses. In fact, one in four college students reports being raped. During her freshman year of college, a woman has a 1 in 10 chance of being forcibly sexually assaulted or raped, and a 1 in 7 chance of being assaulted or raped while incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, according to the findings of a new survey from one U.S. college campus.
According to No More.org Together we can end sexual and domestic abuse, “Did you know that students, especially young women, are at the highest risk of sexual assault during the first few months of college? This “Red Zone” –Roughly from the beginning of the school year until Thanksgiving break – is dangerous for many new freshmen are not yet aware of the resources available to survivors or of the options they have in reporting sexual assault.”
Research shows that young people are disproportionately impacted by partner violence, with more than 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men experiencing some form of intimate partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age (CDC, 2011). When dealing with issues that directly affect their lives, it only makes sense that young people are meaningfully included in the planning and implementation of solutions. Teens, therefore, are best positioned to inform adults about the abuse that is impacting their lives and about effective strategies for promoting healthy relationships
Substance Abuse and Rape on College Campus
Parents must face the reality that American College campuses are home to massive drinking and partying scenes were many teenagers experiment with marijuana. The glamorization of marijuana and alcohol has been a popular gateway drug for many teens. National surveys find that about two in five U.S. undergraduates engage in heavy drinking, which is typically defined as having five or more. Needless to say, drinking and drugs do not mix with books and studying. Many female students are targeted when they are highly intoxicated and incoherent.
My wish and prayer is that my daughter has enough common sense not to be a statistic. As a parent, or guardian, it is never too late to have a conservation with your teen. Although most nation’s colleges and universities back in session, and the topic is address during orientation at most colleges, now is the perfect time to get informed and start raising awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence on college campuses.
What to do if rape?
Tips and information given to students during orientation instructs them to stay in groups, be aware of their surroundings, and watch their alcohol intake, a factor that affects both the victim and the perpetrator in most college rapes.
In the case of a rape, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instructs victims to avoid taking a shower or brushing his or her teeth. That goes against most victims' first instincts, but it's the only way to preserve evidence and have a chance of putting the attacker behind bars.
The next step, after getting to a safe place, is to call for help.
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. Among its programs, RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at ingrain. This nationwide partnership of more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers provides victims of sexual assault with free, confidential services, 24 hours per day, and 7 days per week. These hotlines have helped over 1.3 million people since Ra Inn’s founding in 1994.
Peer-directed national organization. Locate a support group. Peer-based, wellness-oriented, and empowering services and resources.
Written by Jamila Choyce