If you haven’t heard about the helpful “rape prevention” tips offered by the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs Department of Public Safety, then please read on. They must have dug up a time capsule from 1978 to have come up with them:

  1. Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.
  2. Our instinct may be to scream, go ahead! It may startle your attacker and give you an opportunity to run away.
  3. Kick off your shoes if you have time and can’t run in them.
  4. Don’t take time to look back; just get away.
  5. If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense.
  6. Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.
  7. Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.
  8. Yelling, hitting or biting may give you a chance to escape, do it!
  9. Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.
  10. Remember, every emergency situation is different. Only you can decide which action is most appropriate.

I am glad that there is an awareness of and proactive approach to rape on college campuses. Actually, number 10 is a solid piece of advice in general.

My biggest problem is not with the suggestions, antiquated as they may be. They took the time to post ten tips and there is not a single suggestion about PREVENTION. Going to places in pairs or with a group, awareness, having your cell phone charged, paying attention to your surroundings, not becoming impaired by alcohol or drugs while surrounded by a pack of inebriated, horny boys, etc.

Also, the rape epidemic on college campuses is not coming from random young men leaping out at women from behind the bushes. Fraternity parties are notorious for providing all of the elements of a young women’s worst nightmare.

U of C provided a PC list of tips intended to make grown-ups feel better about giving some advice to doe-eyed young adults. College students are at least ten times more sophisticated than they were when I was in College, but they all still kids figuring themselves out and on track to make a lot of crap decisions while they’re learning.

The grown ups and the Department of Public Safety need to step into the 21st century or at least the 90s and learn how to talk about what’s really happening. What is really generating the rape and non-consensual sex statistics.

For the love of Pete, give the young adults on your campus a list that will help THEM, even if it makes YOU uncomfortable.

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