Going to college has it’s own safety risks, but going to college in a city is an entirely different experience. This is not the time to be naive. People don’t always have your best interests at heart, and they won’t always hear you when you say, “no.” Whether you are having an uncomfortable encounter with a stranger, friend, or family member, it is important to trust your intuition.
Although SCAD security’s main concern is YOUR safety, they can’t protect you when you’re not at SCAD. Although Savannah may seem like a safe city, it is still a city. And in every city there will always be threats to your safety. Here are 6 ways to stay safe in Savannah:
(Photo courteous to QuotesGram)
NEVER WALK ALONE. No matter who you are, walking alone can be dangerous. The larger the group of people you are with, the safer you will be. If anyone approaches you on the streets, try to move on quickly. If you are uninterested in pursuing a conversation with them, then don’t act as if you are interested. DO NOT worry about being rude, your safety should be your #1 concern. Studies have shown that predators actually enjoy when their victims are uncomfortable or upset. “Those men who are the most violent are not at all carried away by fury. In fact, their heart rates actually drop and they become physiologically calmer as they become more violent.” ― Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
(Photo courteous to Roger Dooley)
TRUST YOUR INTUITION. If you have even the slightest sense of a dangerous situation, remove yourself. Don’t worry about being impolite, just walk away. Only you can assess a situation and determine if you are comfortable or not. If there is a voice in the back of your mind saying, “this may not be the best idea,” or “this stranger is acting a little too cordial,” LISTEN TO IT. Your intuition is so important and you must always take it seriously. There is always a reason why you may feel uncomfortable even if you can’t pinpoint it right away. As Gavin De Becker says in his book, The Gift of Fear, “intuition is always right in at least two important ways; it is always in response to something, and it always has your best interest at heart.”
(Photo courteous to Sabre)
ALWAYS CARRY MACE/PEPPER SPRAY. Assaults know no gender, so this goes for everyone. You can find pepper spray at walmart and many different pharmacies. This is a cheap purchase and can seriously save your life. Be sure that it is easily accessible and that you are pointing it in the correct direction. Most pepper sprays have a lock so be sure to familiarize yourself with it.
LIVESAFE APP. This is an easy app to utilize that could potentially save your life. The app enables a direct way for you to communicate with your community safety officials. It also allows you to virtually walk with your friends and family with SafeWalk. Through the application you can request a SafeRide, share location, access safety resources, phone numbers, and a map with key safety locations to keep you “in the know”. I used this app last week to make sure my roommate made it to her car. It left breadcrumbs where she was walking and notified me when she arrived at her destination. You can ask a friend or a family member to watch you walk to ensure that you get to where you’re going safely.
RADS. SCAD has a free program called RADS that teaches you self defense techniques. This class is offered once or twice a quarter so keep an eye out for registration times as the slots can fill up quickly. The RADs mission statement is to provide educational opportunities for women, children, men and seniors to create a safer future for themselves.
THE GIFT OF FEAR. As you can tell by the amount of times I have quoted this book, I highly recommend that all college students read it. Gavin De Becker’s Gift of Fear teaches us survival signals that protect us from violence. It stresses the importance of trusting your intuition while using real life examples and gives you tips on how to remove yourself from uncomfortable situations. This book could not only prevent an assault, but could also save your life.
For more college safety hacks, check out The Her Campus Guide to College Life: How to Manage Relationships, Stay Safe and Healthy, Handle Stress, and Have the Best Years of Your Life, available on both Kindle and in traditional book form.