This awareness campaign runs throughout the month of September as a response to the fact that college age women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in any other age group.
*The First 30 Days Campaign*
This awareness campaign runs throughout the month of September as a response to the fact that college age women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in any other age group as well as the fact the first month of college is the most vulnerable, at-risk time for first year female students.
During the campaign, the Women's Resource Center hosts the Tech, Justice, and Social Change Fair during Community Time in Ferraggiaro Quad. The fair features both on campus departments and off campus agencies that provide support, information, and resources for survivors of sexual assault and their significant others. This year's Tech, Justice, and Social Change Fair will be held on Wednesday, September 22nd at 11:30am.
30 Safety Tips for the First 30 Days
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
- Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
- Walk with purpose. Even if you don't know where you are going, act like you do.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn't the best place to be.
- Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that you have cab money.
- Don't allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don't trust or someone you don't know.
- Be cautious when using the internet. Never give out private information about yourself, your family, or your roommates (phone number, where you live, etc.) to people you don't know or post that type of information on social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.
- Memorize the phone numbers of a few close friends and carry money for an emergency call.
- Make sure someone knows where you're going, who you're with, and when you'll be home.
Residence Hall Safety
- Lock your door when you go to sleep and when you are not in the room
- Keep your window locked (especially if it is easy to enter from the ground)
- If people constantly prop open the main res hall door, talk to an RA or RD about it
Walking Around Campus
- Be familiar with where emergency phones are installed on the campus
- Be aware of open buildings where you can use a phone
- Take major, public paths rather than less populated shortcuts
- Avoid dimly lit places and talk to campus services if lights need to be installed in an area
- Walking back from the library or a friend's residence hall very late at night is sometimes unavoidable, so try to walk with a friend. If walking feels unsafe, try calling public safety for an escort
- Carry a noisemaker (like a whistle) and a small flashlight on your keychain
In Social Situations and at Parties
- When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other and leave together.
- If you choose to drink, practice safe drinking. Keep track of how many drinks you've had and don't let yourself get out of control.
- Have a buddy system. Don't be afraid to let a friend know if something is making you uncomfortable or if you are worried about your or your friend's safety.
- If someone you don't know or trust asks you to go somewhere alone, let him or her know that you would rather stay with the group.
- Be aware of drug facilitated sexual assault:
• Try not to leave your drink unattended
• Only drink from un-opened containers or from drinks you have watched being made and poured
• Avoid group drinks like punch bowls
• Cover your drink. It is easy to slip in a small pill even while you are holding your drink. Hold a cup with your hand over the top, or choose drinks that are contained in a bottle and keep your thumb over the nozzle
• If you feel extremely tired or drunk for no apparent reason, you may have been drugged. Find your friends and ask them to leave with you as soon as possible
• If you suspect you have been drugged, go to a hospital and ask to be tested
If Someone is Pressuring You
- Don't feel obligated to do anything you don't want to. "I don't want to" is always a good enough reason. Do what feels right to you and what you are comfortable with.
- Have a code word with your friends so that if you don't feel comfortable you can call them and communicate your discomfort without the person you are with knowing. Your friends can then come to get you or make up an excuse for you to leave.
- Know your personal boundaries and communicate them clearly. You have the right to say no! If you say no, say it seriously and assertively.
- Don't assume your partner can read your mind. Tell the person you are with how far you want to go, what you want and don't want to do, and when you want to stop.
- Don't be afraid to speak up. If you are being pressured or you start to feel uncomfortable, let the other person know how you feel and get out of the situation, even if it's awkward or hurts the other person's feelings.
- Listen carefully to the person you're with. If your partner says no to sexual contact or her/his body language tells you that she/he is unwilling or unsure, respect your partner's limits and stop.
- Don't assume you know what another person wants. Don't assume that just because a person gets drunk, wears sexy clothing, agrees to be alone with you, or consents to kissing or other sexual touching that they are willing to have sex.
For more safety tips and information about sexual assault, please check out the Rape Absue and Incest National Network at www.rainn.org.
For resources and information specific to Saint Mary's, please check out http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/student-life/womens-resource-center/sexual-ass....