Safety of girls is a top priority at every college campus. Nowadays, safe and supportive campus community is both an obligation and a challenge for college administrators and students. Institute should provide a comprehensive range of security amenities especially for girls within the premises, through a dedicated team of security personnel. It is a common phenomenon that most of the outstation students enrolling for different courses come out of their homes and cities for the first time in their life. It is therefore of utmost importance for institutions to provide them a comfortable and safe ambience of ‘feel at home’ within the campus.
Women safety at any college campus is a serious concern now. According to a poll, 86% of parents believe that the safety of the campus is one of the most important factors in choosing 0ne institution over the other. However, sexual assault and rape investigations in college campuses are dominating the headlines nationwide.
This problem can only be solved through awareness and prevention programs, dialogue and action. Students should be given regular lessons about sexual assault and its prevention from the school level itself so that they become more aware and alert and do not hesitate in taking preventive and safety actions in case such disdainful circumstances are encountered in future.
Moreover, programs like “Women’s Campus Safety Program” could be integrated with the existing curriculum. Such programs have an intrinsic potential to create awareness not only amongst the students but also off the campus. Every individual, irrespective of gender, should consciously support this vital societal issue and raise their voice against any such morally and ethically unacceptable act. This is the possible way some positive change can be brought about regarding safety and well-being of girls inside the college campuses.
Implementation of the following recommendations would certainly reduce the mounting risks to a great extent:
Trust your instincts and if a person or a group of people makes you feel uneasy, immediately report to the “Women’s Cell or forum” formed inside the college or to the management.
Carry your cell phone and remember the emergency complaint number.
Be assertive and stay alert when moving around at the campus or in the surrounding neighborhood. If alone, only use headphones in one ear to stay aware of the ongoing surroundings.
Few integral steps like consumption of alcohol in all residential areas, including the college campuses should be prohibited to maintain that proper decorum in the campus. Over 70,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 have been victims of sexual assault under the influence of alcohol.
Miscommunication can make one vulnerable to rape; ignore sending mixed signals.
Safety measures should be taken by the counselors and overnight supervisors, who would closely watch the students at night, followed by conducting room checks every 15 minutes at a minimum and assist the students in case of any emergency.
CCTV cameras should be strategically placed in every corner of the building to ensure the safety and well-being of both the students and the staff.
Pepper Spray is definitely a good weapon. It causes an immediate closing of the eyes, difficulty in breathing, running nose, and coughing. The duration of its effect depends on the strength of the spray, but the average full effect lasts around thirty to forty-five minutes, with diminished effects lasting for hours. One spray for three seconds will leave the person disoriented and that will buy you some time to either escape or call for help. Or even hit your attacker in the right places.
Personal safety is all about Attitude, Awareness, Avoidance and Action. If your attitude is right, you are aware of your surroundings, know how to avoid risks and are ready to act in the face of a threat, you’ve won half the battle. The idea is to act in a way that doesn’t create the window of opportunity that allows perverts to abuse you sexually. All the institutions must be committed to providing quality services and programmes that enhance residential students safety.