Coming back to school, family, friends, and neighbors constantly told me, “Have fun at school, but be safe.” Well duh, I am an independent woman, strong like an ox and keen as an owl. I’ll be fine people.
Ok I thought this, but would actually just nod in agreement. The truth of the matter is that although I do believe all these things, as I’m sure all ladies do, this does not guarantee that I or other fierce girls out there will be safe from harmful situations.
College campuses are crime magnets with rape and assault being at the top of the list. Right now UF is experiencing their own scare as an unidentified man is on the loose after attacking four women in a nine day span.
Luckily the women fought back and drew enough attention to receive help and scare the attacker away. With police still tracking him down, women will need to follow the essential guidelines all college women alike should know and practice.
1. Walking Alone
Daytime: The best and only time to do so. Obviously gals have got to get themselves to class, grab refreshing iced coffees, and go for quick runs. If they're alone, that’s fine as long as the sun is shining and people are out and about. Remember that desolate equals danger. I know us ladies do need some time to ourselves, but it’s probably not best at places that look like they are straight out of a Friday the 13th movie.
Nighttime: If Scooby Doo has taught us anything, it’s that splitting up leads to trouble. If girls are forced to walk at night, groups of people we know and trust are key because numbers mean everything. The bigger the mob of people, the less likely someone will approach this mob and start trouble. It’s science.
2. Emergency Contacts
Having good people around us is the greatest thing to have for safety, but if for any reason we still feel unsafe or even as a backup, it is important to know the numbers of people who can help, like campus police, friends who live nearby, etc. Why not put to use the original reason we bought these cellular devices?
3. Check in with Friends
After a long night out, all girls wants to do is change into those cozy pjs and hit the hay, BUT before we are off dreaming about being Ryan Gosling’s boo thang we must check in with friends to make sure they are doing the same (maybe minus the Ryan part). This is the only way to know if friends need us or not. Then once we know all mates are well and safe, we can proceed with making the wedding arrangements with Ryan.
4. Locked Doors and Windows
Whether we are in dorms or apartments, locking all doors and even windows are something we may not think of. Once we are in our own domain we feel safe, but making sure intruders can’t come in is important. All it takes is one roommate to forget to lock the door on her way out or forget to lock the window after almost burning the kitchen down and it is easy access for anyone to come and steal items or even worse, harm somebody. So whether it is day or night, we must make sure all proximities of whatever we call home are secure and on lock. Just remember that our homes are like exclusive nightclubs and we are the bouncers. Intruders are not on the list, so they cannot come in. Sorry not sorry.
5. Locked cars
If any of us are lucky enough to have cars at college, we must guard them with our lives. Much like we would lock up our homes, all four doors of those vehicles should be locked whether we are in them or not. The last thing we need is to trek all the way to the parking garage, finally get inside, and find a stranger sitting in there with us. Also, we have to make sure once we’re driving these cars, the doors are again locked. We never know if someone might try to hop inside while at red lights, and with us not looking like cab services, they probably won’t be looking for a ride somewhere.
While these simple guidelines may seem like common sense, I think we can all agree and say we have probably broken a few, if not all, of these rul before. For the future though, let’s never forget to be the smart and savvy girls we know we are and let us exemplify these qualities always.