Is Charleston Safe?

I’m sure all of us have been keeping up to date on the recent sexual assaults that have been happening on and around campus.  It is scary to think about how often these assaults are happening and the possibility that every time we walk alone, we are a target.  Our campus is obviously in a city and unfortunately, events like these occur too often in metropolises across America and around the world.  Changing the societal conversation about male dominance and the patriarchy would eventually help lower the number of assaults but we aren’t there yet.  So it begs the question...is Charleston safe?

Before this year, I never felt like a target.  I was always aware when walking alone, especially at night, but not once did I have any feelings of uneasiness or fear.  Now, that fear has manifested itself in my head as repeated reports of assault occur it seems almost weekly. I boxed for almost a year so I like to think I could defend myself in any situation, but you never know how you will actually react.  Today, I am more conscious of my Ubers, try not to walk alone as much (even though I do - my favorite spin studio is on Meeting, so it’s a hike), and I don’t use my headphones when I am walking specifically so I can be aware of my surroundings. Yes, these measures are probably drastic and you might think I am paranoid but all you have to do is read the reports.  Read what is happening on our campus. These attacks aren’t sporadic anymore, they are occurring way more frequently than they used to.

I don’t know if Charleston is safe.  Public Safety does a good job of answering calls and the blue boxes around campus are great in case of an emergency, but what do you do if you’re off campus?  I love our little city and I love the College, but I personally believe that the school needs to take a closer look at what is happening and take action. Multiple clubs are trying to raise awareness about sexual assault on campus by trying to draw more attention to it.  The more voices there are, the more change can be made.