What You Haven’t Heard About the Red Zone and Sexual Assault

For most freshman, starting college is a scary experience, with back to school season bringing a ton of anxieties about finding classes and getting good grades. However, studies suggest there is a much bigger reason to fear going back to school: “The Red Zone.”

The Red Zone is the time from move-in week to Thanksgiving break on campus. This is also known as the time period with the highest concentration of sexual assaults on campus, particularly with freshman girls. With weeks of parties on end and a new sense of freedom, students tend to be less cautious the first few weeks of school.

What you can do about it

73 percent of sexual assaults in general and 90 percent of sexual assaults on campus are committed by someone the victim knows, and many are committed while the person is under the influence. The best way to prevent sexual assault is to party smart. WVU and Her Campus have a few tips for safe partying and dating that you can follow to stay safe this school year. Here are a few:

-Stick with friends

-Know your alcohol limit

-Be clear about what you are okay with

-Trust your instincts, they’re usually right

-Share your location with friends or someone you trust

-Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know

Dealing with the aftermath

If you or someone you know has been assaulted, here’s what you need to know. First and foremost, know that you are not alone. An estimated one in five women will be assaulted in their lifetime. If you suspect you have been sexually assaulted, seek help as soon as possible. Medical personnel are trained to deal with sexual assault. Even if you don’t want to press charges, getting a ‘rape kit’ will preserve the evidence if you decide to press charges at a later date.


There are several resources in Morgantown to help with victims. The Carruth Center in the CPASS building is a center for mental health that helps victims of trauma recover through various forms of therapy. The Title IX Office on campus also has resources to help victims. The Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center (RDVIC) is a 24-hour hotline for victims to utilize. Finally, WVU Peer Advocates also has certain programs for peers to help others who have suffered with trauma.

For more information on Sexual Assault and the Redzone visit the WellWVU page.

RDVIC Hotline: 304-292-5100

Carruth Center 24-Hour Emergency Number: 304-293-4431

University Police Department: 304-293-3136