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Apr 12, 2016 | Harrison College

Raising Awareness to Prevent Sexual Violence

April is Sexual Assault Prevention Awareness Month. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States are victims of sexual assault.

This year’s national Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign focuses on the building blocks of prevention by communicating how we all can promote safety, respect and equality among each other. Louis Reeves, curriculum chair of Harrison College’s School of Criminal Justice and Social Services, offers these to help keep you and your family safe:

  • Avoid unfamiliar, poorly lit, and less-traveled areas. These areas are prime places where attackers look for targets. It should go without saying, but never go off with someone you do not know into one of these places.
  • If you are in an unfamiliar place or one that is less traveled and poorly lit, use a buddy system.  Having someone with you offers a deterrent effect. Having an active conversation on your cell phone and having someone know where you are also helps.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol in excess and being unaware of your surroundings. Knowing what is going on around you can help prevent an attack. Intoxication not only lower inhibitions (and allows risk-taking behavior), but also decreases the ability to monitor your environment.
  • If you are out in a social scene, do not leave any possessions including food and drinks unattended. Someone could collect of information about you that could be used to gain your confidence or they may place a drug into unattended food or drinks.
  • A majority of all assaults are committed by persons known to the victim. Watch for potential warning signs of abuse: controlling and manipulative behaviors and minor physical altercations or attacks that can later escalate. If these occur, listen to your instincts and seek help.
  • Know that help is available. If you are a victim of assault or abuse, resources are available. Trained professionals (including law enforcement and counsellors) are non-judgmental and won’t blame the victim or look down on them. These professionals are dedicated to the protection of the victim.

Remember, if you are ever in danger or need crisis intervention, call 911 or the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE.

If you or someone you know are interested in pursuing a degree from our School of Criminal Justice request more information here.

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