Staying Safe on Campus

Most of us here at Kent State feel relatively safe on campus, but the reality is that one in five women are victims of sexual assault while attending college (National Sexual Violence Resource Center). Kent State does a great job at combating sexual assault on campus and making their students feel safe. Things like campus escorts and emergency call buttons are great resources for students, but there are many more things that we as students can do to protect ourselves on campus. From carrying methods of protections to educating ourselves about campus safety, here are some ways to feel more confident in your safety at college.

Take a Self Defense Class

    I went through self defense training as part of my high school gym class, and it was extremely useful in making me feel more confident in my ability to protect myself. A self defense class is generally specifically geared towards women and teaches you ways to protect yourself in the case of an assault. Course content includes things from different types of hits and kicks to how to escape different types of pin downs. These classes can help you feel much more confident in your strengths and help you recognize that you’re not powerless in scary situations. Being able to know what to do in the case of an emergency can give you peace of mind and help you feel more empowered as a woman.

Defense Weapon

    While self defense classes only cover ways to defend yourself with just your body, getting some type of small self defense weapon can help you feel even safer. Many types of defense weapons exist specifically for this purpose, such as pepper spray which is very common among women as a means of protection. However, it is important to know that pepper spray can possibly harm you as well if used incorrectly. In some cases, you may also get pepper spray in your eyes and can impair your ability to fight your attacker. Luckily though, there are many other types of self defense devices available to women. A great place to search your options is on Amazon which carries multiple types of sharp keychains that can be used for protection and are easily accessible in case of an emergency. When considering a weapon like this, make sure to familiarize yourself with your school’s rules about self defense weapons and also consider what would work best for you in the case of a real emergency.

Personal Alarm

    If you don’t feel comfortable carrying something that could be used as a weapon, a personal alarm is a great alternative option for protection. A personal alarm also comes in the form of a small keychain and is a button you can press that will emit a loud alarm to alert others that you are in danger. Personal alarms can be found at many retailers and emit up to 130 decibels of sound, hopefully scaring away your attacker and alerting anyone nearby that you need help. These are a great option if you don’t feel as confident in your abilities to use a weapon in a high-pressure emergency or could even be paired with a self defense weapon for extra protection.

Stick Together

    I know we’ve all heard it a million times before, and it seems like common sense but using the buddy system really can be the difference between getting home safe or not. Unfortunately, as young women we are easier targets when alone, especially walking alone at night. An easy way to make yourself feel more safe and comfortable is by always trying to find a friend to walk with if it’s dark out, and you’re going far. A great rule to follow is that no girl gets left behind, especially if you feel that someone may not be in a good state to protect themselves. It’s so important for us as women to stick together and look out for one another, especially if you witness something that doesn't seem right. If you see something, say something.

Know your Worth

    One of the first things my self defense class covered was arguably one of the most important aspects of being able to defend yourself. In order to be able to defend yourself in an emergency, you have to know that you are worth fighting for. Each and every one of us is worth fighting for and deserve to feel safe, no matter where we are. Be aware, stick together, and most importantly, stay safe out there!