Avoiding College Rape



I remember flying across the country and depositing my almost eighteen-year-old daughter on a small college campus in upstate New York. Besides setting up a local bank account, campus meal service, and an Ethernet connection, I gave her absolutely no life-saving information should she truly need it.

What was I thinking? Did I imagine that the small community she’d live in would be as safe as my own? Did I expect that ALL her new friends would consider her as special and worthy as I did? As I flew home, I never imagined she could be raped in a dorm room, or be abducted as she walked home from the library in the dark. Thank God she wasn’t. But many young women have.

As I’ve read about the apparent abduction of Hannah Graham, the straight A, University of Virginia student, I can only imagine how devastated her parents must feel. Hannah was alone and inebriated the night she disappeared. But let’s set aside any judgment about alcohol and parties, and just admit that it happens on college campuses. So what can we do to protect our young women?


If I was sending my daughter to college in today’s world this is what I’d do first:

1.     Self-defense classes. Preferably martial arts.  She will know how to kick, hit, and fight back.
2.     Be in a pack of girls at night. Or at least never walk alone. Call someone—even campus security for an escort.
3.     And that same pack of girls—will watch out for one another—at parties and other activities—especially if alcohol is involved. No one is left alone or left behind.
4.     College campuses don’t allow firearms—but you can have mace or a stun gun. Carry them and have it handy.


College shouldn’t be a place where rape, molestation, abductions, or murders happen. But they do. Let’s fight back with awareness, self-protection, and a buddy system. Our world has changed, but let’s teach our young women to meet the evil head-on and live to tell about it.


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