Self-defense from sexual assault for College Students
After many years of protecting and nourishing our kids, sending them off to college can be so bittersweet, especially when considering their safety. You can do your part by starting the conversation and helping them to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves from the rise of incidences of campus sexual violence, assault, and rape.
Over 50% of college students are affected by sexual misconduct
Many young adults are learning how to live in a “new body” and how powerful their bodies can be. All that while they are heading to a place outside of their parent’s immediate supervision and support. 26.4% of women experience rape or sexual assault through physical force. That’s only the reported number, it’s scary to think about the unreported numbers; Oftentimes, the victim puts the blame on themselves, and feel shame and fear to relive this experience or rather put a label of “victim” on themselves. There are many reasons why one would choose to not report it and move on with their lives..
Sadly, statistics show a prevalence of sexual assault and other sexual misconduct incidents, affecting up to 50% of college students, and many of these incidences go unreported. It is a fact that most of these college students will leave college with some type of trauma and this is not acceptable.
The fallacy of the man in the shadows
The idea that perpetrators are somehow men chasing and hunting girls in dark alleyways is a false idea. This predominant belief surrounding sexual assault is statistically less and shifts focus away from the most common attacker. It is important to understand that both men and women violate consent, and assailants are often someone you think you know and trust.
5 Things to Know about avoiding sexual misconduct before heading to college
1. Know your boundaries.
If you don’t establish and understand your boundaries now, then you won’t discover them until after they have already been violated. Consider what outcomes you are not willing to accept.
2. Trust your instincts
If you feel unsafe, or just uncomfortable, you should extricate yourself and take your distance from the situation. Even if you started the communication willingly with a person that now doesn’t feel “safe”, know that you can change your mind at any time, it’s always your choice. It is completely acceptable to have a change of mind when you end up in a room with someone you think you liked and trusted. Never do anything you don’t want to do.
3. Reinforce your boundaries
Be comfortable saying “NO”.
Convey your message strongly. Use clear body language and a tone of voice that agrees with your body language to stand your ground. Put yourself first, have the courage to say no, and exert control over your established boundaries. It’s okay to be assertive. If need be, even aggressive.
4. Make a plan and Drill it
Training Krav Maga or any form of realistic self-defense before college is important. It is the key to safety. Be ready the moment you find yourself presented with an outcome you are not willing to accept by making a plan in the event that you find yourself in a compromising scenario.
5. Escape or fight
If you are unable to extricate yourself from a situation, be ready to fight back. It is impossible to predict if you will be a victim of sexual assault but having a self-defense system to rely on when it matters the most can help make a huge difference by giving you the tools and techniques to protect your boundaries and sense of safety. No matter what happens, being a victim of sexual assault is never your fault. Whatever you can do to protect yourself will always be the right thing to do.
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