The “Red Zone” and Sexual Assault on College Campuses – What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
Going to college is not only about learning and getting a degree. College years are a time of independence, personal growth, meeting new friends, and discovering what the world has to offer. Despite the many benefits of going to college, a problem remains on college campuses that deserves scrutiny.
As college students go back to college this fall or for the first time, they should become familiar with the “Red Zone” and what steps they can take to avoid becoming victims of sexual assault. The Red Zone is a term used to describe a three-month period when sexual assaults are most prevalent on college campuses.
The Red Zone is between August when students begin school and Thanksgiving when they go home for their first holiday break. Unfortunately, more than 50 percent of all sexual assaults that happen on college campuses occur in the Red Zone period.
Additionally, most sexual assaults are perpetrated by a person the victim is acquainted with. In some cases, the victim and perpetrator may be good friends. Most assaults occur on Saturdays and Sundays between the hours of midnight and six in the morning.
The Role of Fraternities in the College Sexual Assault Epidemic
Not all fraternities are evil, and not every fraternity member is a sexual predator. However, fraternities have a reputation for having initiations that involve the intentional sexual assault of female college students, especially freshmen.
For example, a recent social media post advertised a rumored “rape initiation night” that was to occur at a college frat party. Because of the heightened risk of becoming the victim of sexual assault on a college campus (and while drinking in many cases), young college students should be extra cautious when attending parties or other gatherings at frat houses.
Protecting Yourself from Sexual Assault on College Campuses
College students can take certain steps to reduce the risk they will become the victim of sexual assault. Parents can also play a key role by reiterating to their college-aged children that sexual assault on college campuses is a significant concern, especially during the three-month Red Zone.
Steps students can take to protect themselves from sexual assault (which may seem obvious but deserve repeating) include the following:
- Never walk home alone;
- If you are alone on your college campus and need to get to your dorm or nearby apartment, enlist the help of campus police or security;
- If you are alone and unable to get home, go to a well-lit place and wait for an Uber or Lyft to take you home (after ensuring the driver is the person identified on the app);
- Have a plan to avoid being on campus late at night, especially on weekends between midnight and six in the morning;
- Carry mace, a whistle or any other device that can help to defend against an assault and/or to alert others who may be around you that an assault is taking place;
- Be extremely cautious when attending parties and gatherings that involve alcohol and drugs (especially frat parties); and
- Report any activity you believe to be a sexual assault to campus police.
Colleges and universities have a responsibility to ensure their campuses are safe for students. While all bad acts cannot be prevented, colleges and universities can do more to ensure students can get home safely, have the means to report abuse and be taken seriously, and provide guidance for sexual assault victims looking for answers.
Contact Searcy Denney Today to Speak with a Florida Sexual Assault Lawyer
Whether you have been the victim of sexual assault or are a parent or family member of a victim, time is of the essence to seek legal guidance from a Florida sexual assault lawyer. Searcy Denney is a reputable law firm with proven results nationwide.
Our lawyers represent clients who have been injured and harmed through no fault of their own, including victims of sexual assault. To receive a free confidential case evaluation to discuss your potential legal matter, contact us today by calling (800) 780-8607 or completing a case inquiry form on our website.