If you’re heading off to college this fall, you’re probably feeling super excited and staying busy figuring out your schedule, getting your books, and settling into student housing.
While college can be a lot of fun (and you also get to learn cool stuff!), it’s important to remember that there are risks involved. One in five women are sexually assaulted or raped on college campuses in the U.S., and one in three teens is the victim of dating abuse.
All of us at loveisrespect definitely want you to know how to stay safe and help others stay safe, too. September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month, so all month long groups and organizations around the country are calling attention to issues of student safety on college and university campuses.
This year, we’re focusing on bystander awareness and how being an active bystander can help prevent incidents of assault and violence. Being an active bystander means:
- Speaking up if you witness violence or assault
- Taking action if you sense that someone needs help
- Knowing what consent is and what it looks like
- Calling out words or ideas that perpetuate rape culture, misogyny, or gender stereotypes; check out this NPR segment on the power of the peer group in preventing campus rape
We’ve talked about the Bystander Effect before, and this article does a good job explaining the four D’s of bystander intervention: Direct, Distract, Delegate, and Delay. Throughout the month we’ll be sharing information about campus safety and being an active bystander, so be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr for all the latest updates!
Other Resources to Check Out:
- Not Alone, the White House’s official website on campus safety, provides tons of information, from finding a crisis service, to explaining your rights, to learning how to file a complaint at your school.
- The Clery Center for Security on Campus also provides resources for victims and survivors of campus assault, as well as information on the Clery Act and Title IX (two important pieces of legislation you should definitely know about!)
When you’re at work, you’re probably not talking with your co-workers about really personal stuff. It’s more likely you’re sharing thoughts about Guardians of the Galaxy than discussing the details of your relationships. But if you find out that one of your co-workers is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, you can help them by knowing how to show your support.
It’s back-to-school season, and while you may be returning to the same school or going off to college, it’s important to remember how important healthy relationships are as you get settled back into the groove of going to class, studying for tests, participating in afterschool activities and generally being busier than in the summer.