Here’s a fact. Colleges are under fire. Under deep scrutiny concerning their lack of interest in protecting their female student body from the almost epidemic sexual attacks from young men, on and off campus. Witness the University of Virginia media accusations that, despite years of complaints by coeds – horror stories about gang rapes, groping, stalking and other criminal activities – the administration took no meaningful actions against even the most pernicious of assaults.
My point: If you are a young woman attending a college, it is in your best interest to take positive steps toward protecting yourself against any and all types of sexual aggression.
SELF-DEFENSE IN THE COLLEGE SETTING. The First of a Two-Part Post.
First of all, if you are going to commit yourself to your personal safety on and off campus, you have to also Commit Yourself To a New and Specific (Warrior) Mentality. Why? Because I firmly believe that successful self-defense is more about being willing to do whatever you have to than being able!
THE MENTALITY OF SELF-DEFENSE
- Understand that you are in a combat zone. In my mind, the critical first step in self-defense is to believe that the environment in which you must live is a “combat zone.” Girls and women are viewed as targets by both male students and predators off-campus. My research and interviews with students, teachers, etc., shows that well over 80% of women have experienced at least one variety of sexual aggression (stalking, uninvited groping, date-attacks, alcohol-related sexual aggression, etc) in their (highschool and) college careers. Also, in my considerable experience in and with law enforcement there are hundreds of stories of men assaulting coeds who were enroute from class to dorm. Several abductions and murders—
- Adopt the Four-A System. I know this is old and trite wisdom, but, believe me, it is a life-saver. Always BE AWARE, meaning aware of those around you, subtle changes in body language. ASSESS what you see. What do these things mean to your safety? Trust your gut-instincts. They are never wrong! ANTICIPATE. Meaning you should always have a plan of action. If this guy does this, I will do that. ACTION. Meaning, always be prepared to take quick action when what you anticipated comes to reality. Oh, yes, when I talk about Taking Action, I consider always reporting any kind of sexual or criminal assault as critical to campus safety.
- PROFILE. You know, not everybody on or off campus is trying to stalk and assault you. As a matter of fact, most are not interested in attacking you. But, you see, campus sexual assault is a totally different entity. Young men and even young women are fascinated and interested in exploring sex. Many coeds are away from home for maybe the first time and are exploring exciting adventures. Naivety and curiosity is a pretty nasty combination. There will be keg parties. Invitations that are hard to turn down to a freshman coed interested in being popular in a new setting. Add this to an alarmingly liberal atmosphere set by college leaders, well, hell, it is almost like “Boys Will Be Boys.” I am not advocating locking yourself in your room, leaving only to attend class. What I am advocating is to use common sense when responding to an invitation to a “party,” entering a room, and getting the feeling that You Are The Keg Party! Having the courage to turn around and leave may be your linchpin to self-protection!
In My Next Post. Professional Self-Defense & Personal Safety Techniques Designed To Stop “Boys Wanting To Just Be Boys.”
Until then, Stay Safe.