College students are in one of the most vulnerable age groups for sexual assault.
According to multiple studies, female students are at an increased risk for sexual assault during the first few weeks of their freshmen year. The time from the beginning of the semester to Thanksgiving break is known as the “red zone” — a period of vulnerability.
Most college students who are sexually assaulted are victimized by someone they know. Although stranger rapes occur, acquaintance rape is the most prevalent form of sexual violence among college students.
There is a common misconception that acquaintance rape is not as serious, not as criminal and not as traumatic to the victim as stranger rape. Some people think it isn’t “real rape.”
However, rape is a felony crime, regardless of the offender’s relationship to the victim. Acquaintance rape is just as serious and just as devastating to the victim.
Although the only true way to prevent rape is to stop the rapist, here are some steps to avoid or help to prevent acquaintance rape: