RAINN's 2008 Spring Break Tips for Students
March 13, 2008 – (Washington, DC) – RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization, today released helpful safety tips for students traveling on spring break vacations. Being aware of possible risks is often the first step in staying safe, especially when in a new environment.
“College women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than any other age group. That's why it's so important that students are aware of possible risks, and know how and where to get help if they need it.
"College women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than any other age group,” said Scott Berkowitz, president & founder of RAINN. “That's why it's so important that students are aware of possible risks, and know how and where to get help if they need it – especially on spring break when increased exposure to strangers and new surroundings can amplify these risks.”
According to Berkowitz, there are some very basic steps students can take to maximize safety. Knowing how to identify and avoid potentially dangerous situations can help to reduce the risk of sexual assault, both during and after spring break.
RAINN's Top 10 Spring Break Tips include:
- Get to know your surroundings before you go out and learn a well-lit route back to your hotel or rental property.
- Always carry emergency cash and keep phone numbers for local cab companies handy.
- Form a buddy system with close friends and agree on a secret "butt in" signal for uncomfortable situations.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut.
- Avoid being alone or isolated with someone you don’t know and trust.
- Don't accept drinks from people you don't know or trust.
- Never leave your drink unattended, and if you do lose sight of it, get a new one.
- Always watch your drink being prepared.
- Try to buy drinks in bottles, which are harder to tamper with than cups or glasses.
- Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
Sexual assault is a crime of motive and opportunity. Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to prevent an attack. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, please know that the assault is not your fault and that you are not alone. Help is available through the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE, and online at www.rainn.org.
For information and safety tips for students going abroad for spring break, please visit the U.S. State Department's website.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE and rainn.org) in partnership with over 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country. The hotlines have helped more than 1.2 million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. For more information about RAINN, please visit rainn.org.