The reality is heartbreaking, terrifying and disgusting to a young women in college and their parents. We shouldn’t have to “watch our drinking” and “dress conservatively” to earn the right to not be raped. But we do. That's a fact. Here are 3 tips to protect yourself and reduce your chance of being vulnerable for sexual assault.
1. Red Flag People
Arguably one of the most important things to do to protect yourself is to recognize the people who could put you at risk. Some obvious things to look for is the person who is drinking a lot, someone who is being the obvious flirt and someone who might have a reputation. If someone has approached you early in the night and is being inappropriately persistent, remember that. Keep an eye on that person and tell a friend her is making you uncomfortable. I leave the party with my friends if I feel uncomfortable. It's College. There will be another party next week.
2. Manage Your Drinking
Not only manage the amount, but be sure to keep an eye on your current drink. I never leave a drink unattended for even a second. If I dance I throw the drink out and get another. I also have a water between drinks. This just helps keep me hydrated and able to make the night last longer without losing control.
3. Have A Sober Friend
Bring a friend to monitor the evening. Commit to leaving with your friends. Much like a Designated Driver, this person is there to protect and guard the group. Be sure everyone gives this person, and everyone else in the friend group, their phone number and shares their location with them. This location share is for the next 24 hours. If I find someone "hot" at a party I might give them my number. But I always leave the party with my friends so we are all accounted for. This is what friends are for.
While these tips can't guarantee your safety, they can keep you alert so that if you find yourself in a dangerous situation you will have enough time and awareness to react properly and get yourself out of there or call a friend immediately.
If you feel that you have been sexually assaulted, please call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673).
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: The Intern