(Image: Patrick Faricy)
Do you remember taking your daughter for the first day of kindergarten? (I do – and I even remember what she was wearing.) The next thing you know, you are taking her for senior pictures and wondering what she was going to wear to the prom. Now, you’re packing boxes and worrying as your daughter heads off to her first semester at college.
We have spent our whole life teaching them right from wrong, helping them make important decisions and, most importantly, keeping them safe! Now it’s all up to them, let’s hope they have been listening. Since you still have that drive to set up the dorm room, I thought I would share some extra safety tips that you can talk about on the way.
- First things first… Get to know your dorm resident assistant (RA). She will be familiar with all of the important things you need. Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions. They are a good source of information and should be discussing dorm room safety to the students.
- Did you know that the first six weeks for a college freshman are considered the “rape red zone?” This is because it may be the first time your daughter is on her own, she’s not really sure who she can or can’t trust; meeting new friends and attending college parties where there may be alcohol and drugs. It’s extremely important for her to know how to avoid, prevent and ESCAPE if she is faced with a dangerous situation. We have taught personal safety to thousands of women; and the common theme among previous victims is “I should have known, I knew not to do that bit I did it anyway!” We say this all the time but it’s worth repeating…TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Women have amazing intuition, and we need to listen to it! If it does not feel right, it is not!
- If you have an opportunity to pick your roommates, try to pick friends or girls you are familiar with. Rooming with someone who isn’t a friend? Talk with other people that may know them, or check them out online. Look at their FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter page. If you are not comfortable with the choice, ask for a different roommate and or run a background check online.
- If allowed, change the locks when you move in and add a deadbolt or chain lock for additional security. If staying off campus try to stay in a gated community that has an alarm system (changing the code when you move in). Look for places that are well lit, and talk with the neighbors about any recent crimes. You can even add a portable doorstop alarm inside your room at the door for personal safety.
- Before you head out check the location finder on campus -it will help you know what stores and restaurants are nearby and student-friendly. Never go out anywhere alone! Always try to go in groups, only go with people who are close friends and stay together whenever possible. If you are breaking from the group make sure someone knows as much as you do about the person you are going with. Best friends lookout for each other!
- Try to take a taxi or bus, as a group. If you find a taxi driver who is reliable and you are comfortable with. Keep their number in your cell phone and try to use him each time. This will allow you door to door service and avoid any potential for DUI’s.
- If you have a car, never walk to your car alone! Same applies if you have a dog – never walk them alone at night. They make you feel safer; but you could still be a target.
For more information about Simple Self Defense for Women® Guest Speaking, Workshops, DVD’s, Security Products or how to bring us to your campus visit www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com
Tracy & Charley Vega, Co-Founders- Simple Self Defense for Women®