Campus Crime: Staying Safe While Attending College


The college campus may seem to be one of the safest places around, but evidence suggests otherwise. Students have been accosted, raped, robbed, campus crimeeven killed in and around their campuses, unmasking a problem that often does not get enough attention. Crime on campus does happen, but you can do your part to avoid being victimized, particularly if you are a woman.

On Campus Safety

While traveling around your school’s campus, you need to remain vigilant at all times. Specifically:

  • Stay on well lit paths, preferably those which are regularly patrolled.
  • If possible, avoid walking alone.
  • Stay alert and walk with confidence.
  • Have your keys to your car or dorm at the ready — you may need them immediately.

In Dorm Safety

You may not be able to control who has access to your residence hall, but you can control who enters your dorm room. Nevertheless, if overall dorm security is not being enforced, then you must alert campus security to the problem. When in your room:

  • Invite in only people you know. If your roommate brings in someone you aren’t comfortable with, express your concerns to her.
  • Your deadbolt should be functional and in place at all times.
  • Do not lend out your room key. Keep the room locked at all times.

Social Setting Safety

If you leave campus to attend a bar or other social gathering, be on the alert for the following:

  • Someone offering to give you a drink unless supplied directly by the bartender. A date rape drug can easily be slipped into a drink rendering you unconscious and/or unable to make wise decisions.
  • Avoid drinking too much.
  • Stay with a group, never go with a stranger.
  • When going out, tell someone that you trust the name of the person you will be with, where you are going, and when you plan to return.
  • Carry a cell phone with you at all times — leave it on!
  • Have enough money on hand to pay for a taxi ride home, if that becomes necessary.

If you are a victim of a crime, file a report with the local police. If the incident takes place on campus, notify college security too. Finally, consider carrying a personal alarm or pepper spray if your journeys around campus require that you be out at night.

Further Reading

Acquaintance Rape on College and University Campuses

The Campus Rape Myth


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Categories: Personal Advice