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It’s critical to educate your girls on predatory behavior found in colleges

Every girl in college is at risk for assault unless they have the knowledge to identify predators and know how to keep safe.

We are now in the notorious “Red Zone” for colleges, a period from August to Thanksgiving break where freshman and sophomore women who are unfamiliar with their new campuses are twice as likely to be raped. Since the majority of our high school daughters are naive concerning aggressive physical and emotional behavior, it is necessary to educate them on campus assault and to recognize the tactics of a potential young predator.

Educate Your Daughter on the realities of campus assault

The conclusions are startling concerning the “Red Zone,” according to the analysis released in 2 studies, one in early 2019 based on a sample of 12,624 college men at 49 community and 4-year colleges and one study in 2015 by United Educators’ (a company offering liability insurance to schools).

Some of them include:

  • -Drinking increases a man’s likelihood to rape.
  • -87% of college sexual assaults involves alcohol.
  • -Men with narcissistic and psychopathological traits are twice as likely to engage in perpetration. (https://reachoutrecovery.com/how-to-think-like-a-narcissist-and-why-they-hurt-people/)
  • -Fraternity members and athletes are the highest segment for repeat perpetrators.
  • – Men in fraternities are three times more likely to commit sexual violence than those not in a fraternity.
  • -Athletes are more likely to gang rape.
  • -Freshmen girls account for the 88% of alleged victims of gang rape assaults.
  • -Many girls delay reporting their rape because of fear, intimidation, or really not knowing what happened to them. In fact, most students do not report their assaults at all.

Unfortunately, serial campus rapists choose victims who offer the greatest chance of success. They choose naïve, trusting first-year college women who are dazzled by the allure of an “upper classman” or “athlete” and who don’t know the campus geography and who drink heavily. If a woman is drunk, she can no longer resist or escape. She won’t recognize the dangerous effects of a colorless, odorless or tasteless date rape drug after she drinks it — which can go into effect within 10-15 minutes. If her friends are partying as well, they will not even know what has happened or suspect that the “nice” guy taking her home could actually hurt her.

What are the physical and verbal red flags

  • The guy at the party who bought you a drink, then invades your personal space by laying his hand on you, pushing his body close to you, kissing you, putting his arm around your neck, or grabbing your arm and forcing you into his personal space could signal danger. He is testing your boundaries to see if you will protest or if he can go to the next level. Note: All predators test physical boundaries regardless of age.
  • He forces multiple drinks on one girl all night long while ignoring others at the party.  He manipulates the situation so that he is alone with the potential victim, literally separating her from her friends. This can take the form of slowly backing her up against a wall or in a corner while talking to her or dancing with her as he scans the room. If she’s drunk, he can easily lead her to another room for the assault.
  • The helpful stranger who violates social conventions by being too persistent, talking too much, with contradicting behavior that could trigger your gut instinct to get out but you don’t because your mind is overloaded by his “charm”. The seemingly too “nice”, too “good-looking” guy who wants to get to know you better doesn’t look like a rapist. However, he diverts your attention so that he can get you to a secluded area.
  • He exploits sympathy or guilt. For example, he could say, “I’ve already been dumped by my girlfriend tonight. You’re not going to leave me as well, are you?” Or as one woman described her boyfriend’s roommate appeared one night, claiming that he was locked out of his apartment. He later assaulted her with a knife. Don’t let sympathy or guilt override your gut instinct. Sometimes being too nice is the wrong thing to do.
  • Eye contact can be deceiving. Disregard the conventional wisdom that an honest person will look you in the eye. A serial rapist just like a con man is more motivated to maintain eye contact than honest people. In fact, the eye contact will be too direct, too disconcerting. If it becomes a stare, the man could be intent on aggression.

How to be safe at college parties

  • Travel in packs. Have a buddy system with friends who make sure they bring you home and periodically check on you at the party. If you need help, have a secret hand gesture that brings them running to your side. There is safety in numbers. Have your phone charged and taxi money to get home. When you get to a nightclub or house party, always scan for possible exits.
  • Never leave your drink unattended and if so, discard it. Never accept a drink that you didn’t receive from a bartender or waitress. Keep your drink covered with your hand. Avoid punchbowls and drinking games.
  • Beware of anyone who is plying you with alcohol and checking to see if you’re drunk.
  • Know your limit and make sure you eat so that you don’t get drunk easily. Alcohol is still the number one date rape drug. Keep track of how many drinks you’ve had. If suddenly you become weak, and your arms and legs feel like lead or you pass out after one beer, someone could have put rohypnol or GHB in your drink. Get help immediately. GHB can lead to respiratory arrest and coma.
  • If you see someone leading a person to a secluded place and the person is too drunk to give consent, create a distraction to divert the attention of the potential perpetrator to allow the potential victim to escape.
  • Beware of parties at fraternities where there is a history of sexual assault. If there is a history, there is a reason. You do not want to become a statistic.

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Alexis Azria

Alexis Azria, a dedicated mom and passionate humanitarian, writing about the parenting issues and ethical dilemmas we face daily.