Staying Safe this Halloweekend

*The content of this article contains the opinions of the author. Any direct claims will have links to the sources they were obtained from.*

The biggest party weekend of the year is coming up-- but it follows a month that has proven to be pretty unsafe for women on this campus. Multiple reports of attempted gun violence and sexual assault have occurred within the month of October near or on our campus. Additionally, various students--who have asked, for the purpose of this article, to remain anonymous-- have reported that at least 21 women were drugged at a single party on University Hill last weekend; the police are confirmed to be investigating two of these incidents thus far.

If we are being honest, we know that the problem cannot be solved until society ends it’s affair with rape culture and prioritizes teaching peace and the importance of consent instead of self-defense. However, in light of our current political climate as well as recent events, it seems clear that we are far from achieving that solution. While there is no way to be completely immune to attack, nor is it the responsibility of the victim to prevent it, it's a good idea to stay extra safe this Halloweekend. Here are a few precautions to take if you decide to go out:

 

  1. Utilize the Buddy System

Image from Pinterest.

Make sure you always have at least one friend with you and make sure that you are both aware of your current surroundings. Never leave a girl behind. Even if they say they are fine on their own, make sure everyone in your group gets home safe. Furthermore, if you see something questionable, don’t be afraid to step in. The bystander effect causes us to assume that someone else will notice, someone else will help. However, it is up to us to look out for one another.

  1. Watch Your Drink and Pour it Yourself

Image from Pinterest.

If you choose to drink, you never want to accept it from another person. Always make sure to pour your own and keep it close to you at all times. Lose it? Get another, I promise you that it’s not worth the risk. Are you not able to access or watch the drinks be poured yourself? That’s sketchy enough to avoid drinking at that party.

  1. If something happens, report it

Image from Pinterest.

Though there are safeguards you can take, they aren’t guaranteed. When these things happen, it is important to remember that it is never ever the victim's fault. Even if there were drugs or alcohol involved, you should not hesitate to file a report. There are specific policies in place at CU that make it unlikely for you to get in trouble for substances so that safety is prioritized.

A 2016 report completed by the university showed that 92% of sexual assault on CU’s campus goes unreported. It can be scary to come forward, and sometimes you may feel like you’re all alone. I promise that you aren’t. If you need to hear it from someone, I believe you. I support you. You will get through this.

Below is a list of resources for anyone who may need them. Have a great weekend, and stay safe out there.

Office of Victim Assistance

Women's Resource Center

Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA)