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The Red Zone… It’s Not Just a Football Term

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bowling Green chapter.

This article contains language about assault that some audiences may find disturbing or triggering. Please do not read if this may harm your mental health.

I’ll say it, I’m not one of those girls who knows much about football, but I do know something; I know “Red Zone” is a term used in the sport. When I heard it used for the first time about sexual assault, I was confused.

The “Red Zone” is the period of time from the start of the fall semester to Thanksgiving break. During this period, “more than 50% of all college assaults are statistically found to occur” (RAINN). I don’t want to use this statistic to scare you at all, but this one might: 19% of women will be sexually assaulted during their time in college (Know Your IX). Let that sink in for a moment.

With all these numbers, there is a high chance that you or someone you know has or will experience some form of sexual assault during college. While strangers do pose a threat more times than not, most times, it’s reported to be someone you know that victimizes you. A significant other, a friend, an acquaintance, etc. While this is terrifying, it is true, and it’s a hard pill to swallow that people you should be able to trust pose that big of a risk.

what can I do to help?

First off, you should never intervene if you also feel unsafe. We have the BGSU Police Department that is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. However, if you do feel comfortable intervening there are a few things you can do:

Create a distraction: Do what you can to interrupt the situation, creating any kind of distraction can give the person at risk a chance to find a safe place. An example might be “Hey why don’t we go somewhere else?” or “Do you all want to go get some food?”

Ask Directly: Ask the person at risk if they are okay or need help. An example of this could be, “Hey, I noticed you seem uncomfortable, do you need help?” or “Would you like to stick together?”

Enlist others: sometimes it can be hard as a bystander to know what the situation is so finding someone the person at risk knows could be beneficial. Ask them if they have noticed anything wrong or ask one of your friends to help intervene. There can be power in numbers.

what resources are there?

Every state-funded campus has a Title IX office including ours. Title IX is “committed to making campus free from harassment and sex and gender discrimination through reporting, education, prevention, response and remediation” (BGSU Title IX). The Cocoon is also a great resource for BGSU students. They provide shelter and advocacy services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and more. It is a completely free resource and is open 24 hours 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I personally love this place, they really care about you as a person and what happened even if nobody else does. BGSU also has an option of reporting something you may have witnessed (See it. Hear it. Report it.). This can be any kind of reporting but you can also report assault, stalking, etc.

While we are still far away from the day sexual violence doesn’t happen, I hope you can take away something from this post. If you are a Survivor yourself, you are not alone, you are not crazy, and I believe you. Nobody should ever have to experience this and I encourage everyone to not turn a blind eye to this problem, do your own research, and talk to your friends about ways to stay safe. Nobody should have to go through something like this, ever.

Brooke McSeveney

Bowling Green '24

Brooke and a third year here at BGSU. She is a Political Science and Sociology double major. In her free time, Brooke enjoys writing, reading, art, listening to podcast and more. Brooke is passionate about social issues, mental health, government and women's rights. She is also our Social Media Director.