Teenage girls around the country plan and choose the right school that seem like a great fit for their lifestyle and major of their dreams. After the climax of their senior year, all the pomp and circumstance still doesn’t prepare parents as they pack towels and clothes for their daughter’s first semester away at college. Sometimes parents get so focused on housing, financial aid, and scholarship applications that they overlook a major fact of campus life: their daughter’s safety!
Defining The Red Zone
You can imagine parent’s horror when they first read about the “Red Zone”. This is a description commonly used to describe the first few months a college freshman spends on campus. This period earned this moniker, because there is a significant increase in risk for rapes or assaults.
In a 2007 survey it was found that over 50% of sexual assaults in college happen between the months of August through November. The findings also noted that most females are more likely to be victims during the early stages of the their college experience. For some reason, the pamphlets that stuffed our mailbox months earlier failed to mention these statistics.
7 Ways Parents Can Help Keep Women Safe On Campus
- Download the free Circle of 6 app for your daughter’s Smartphone. This app allows a user to create a group of friends or family to alert when they need help. This can be as simple as seeking advice, asking for a ride, or terrifying situations where you need to be alerting someone they are in a risky situation. This app is able to send out an exact address and connect to emergency hotlines.
- Register your daughter on Kitestring. This tool is a “check in” web-based tool that allows people to track a person’s coming and goings. This especially helpful if a girl is going out with a new friend or driving home late at night. The user simply goes online and tells the site how long they will be gone. After the elapsed time, the site sends out a text to check in on her safety. If our daughter fails to respond, an alert is immediately sent out to delegated emergency contacts.
- Encourage the “buddy system”. Stress that it is important to stay in groups and always stick together.
- Arm them with tips to keep danger away. Carry keys between the fingers in case a girl needs a weapon to defend herself, use a car alarm on the key fob to alert others if they are being attacked or followed, or give them a whistle to blow for help if there are no blue lights on campus. Many attackers can be thwarted by using noise to gain attention.
- Keep open lines of communication open with your child. Many college age girls will turn to their friends first when they encounter a problem. Ensure our daughters get the right advice, by being there when they need you.
- Invest in nail polish that can detect if a drink has been drugged. Merely covering your drink or watching a friend’s glass isn’t enough. A girl can simply dip her fingernail into her cup and if it changes color that indicates her drink has been compromised. This will help her take responsibility and control over situation, just be aware that not every date rape drug will show up with this simple test.
- Encourage your daughter to allow you to track her cell phone. This will allow you to access her phone’s location if a situation ever arises. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Going to college and being alone for the first time should be an exciting process. By keeping your daughters informed, you will be able to offer them the chance of a lifetime. What tips do you have for mothers to help promote women campus safety for our daughters?