It’s almost time to forget the books, tests, projects and drama and enjoy a week that is free of school and stress! Spring break is just days away and a record number of college students will be flocking to beaches in warm and sunny locations. Although the week is sure to be filled with parties, tropical drinks and sun tans, it is also very important to remember to be smart and safe. RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) wants to remind students to avoid and evaluate risky situations while away.College students are four times more likely to fall victim to sexual assault than any other age group. While you may already be in the vacation mindset, it is necessary to know that violent crimes, such as sexual assault, are dependent upon opportunity and motive. Partying with strangers in an unfamiliar setting makes it quite difficult to distinguish the intentions of people you do not know.
“Personal responsibility plays a key role in reducing one’s risk of sexual assault, and it is even more important that students take precautions while on spring break,” comments RAINN president and founder, Scott Berkowitz. He also says that it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the risks of sexual assault before embarking on your trip.
Students should be aware of the following facts: the FBI ranks sexual assault as the second most violent crime; rapists can be any size, shape, race or gender; and party atmospheres, especially those involving alcohol, give rapists the perfect opportunity to seduce their victims.
In order to avoid potentially dangerous situations while on vacation, students are warned not to ever go anywhere alone with a stranger, never accept beverages from someone you don’t know and trust, never leave your drink unattended and always watch your drink while it is prepared. Employing the buddy system is also encouraged so that you’re always with someone you know and trust. It’s probable that you have heard these warnings before, but it’s important to remember them and to use your better judgment while vacationing in an unfamiliar territory.
RAINN is the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the United States. They have also made it their mission to remind college students that safety precautions are not always fool-proof. Should you find yourself in a compromising situation, call 911 immediately, tell someone whom you trust right away and write down every detail you’re able to remember. Also, realize that you are the victim and that it is not your fault
Letting loose and having fun on Spring Break is ideal, but always remember that safety comes first. You are not invincible, so take the necessary pre-cautions in order to guarantee a fun and safe week!