Just last week, the Kentucky Kernel reported that the University of Kentucky in Lexington sent out an email to students and staff informing them that a student was sexually assaulted in the Gatton College of Business and Economics recently. The victim allegedly met up with someone for the first time after they had communicated on Whisper, which is an anonymous social media app used to connect with new people. When the two met up, the suspect allegedly forced the woman onto his lap, grabbed her inappropriately, and then kissed her. Sadly, this is not the first case of sexual misconduct on the UK campus so far this year.
You might be surprised to learn that between January 10thand May 4th, there were nine reports of sex offenses filed that occurred on the campus ranging from sexual abuse to rape. And the issue stems back even farther to when professor James Harwood was accused of sexual harassment in 2016. At that time, a UK Feminist Alliance marched on campus to protest sexual assault and many others have voiced their concerns regarding the issue.
While society has made major advancements toward addressing the issue, the problem continues to exist, and individuals need to know how they can protect themselves from becoming another victim of harassment or assault.
What are some ways female students can protect themselves while living on campus or studying late at night on campus?
Because many college students find themselves staying on campus late at night, whether it is at the library or taking a class, it is important they understand how they can protect themselves from someone who might try and make a sexual advance toward them when they least expect it. In most cases, women are the victims of sexual harassment and assault, but anyone can benefit from these self-defense tips provided below.
- Carry pepper spray. When walking on campus late at night, be sure you switch your pepper spray on and carry it ready-in-hand to spray until you make it to a safe place. Unfortunately, many campuses are desolate during the evening times which puts women more at risk of being harassed or assaulted. By carrying pepper spray, it can help prevent an unwanted sexual encounter from happening or at least give the opportunity to get away and call 911.
- Learn about self-defense. Aside from carrying pepper spray, you can always take self-defense classes that will teach you moves to help defend yourself from someone who might be trying to sexually harass or assault you.
- Always be alert. This is extremely important to remember as you always want to know what is going on around you. Never wear headphones while walking to your dorm or even to your car and keep your eyes off your phone. You need to be paying attention to your surroundings so that if the unexpected perpetrator approaches you, you have time to react.
- Consider using SafeTrek. You can download this app on your cell phone and it allows you to contact 911 without having to dial it. The way it works is if you are feeling uneasy or unsafe about a person or area, open the app and hold the button until you know it’s safe. When you feel safe again, release the button and type in your four-digit pin. However, if you don’t, when you release your finger, don’t type in your pin. This will trigger the app to contact 911 and provide your exact location.
If you have been sexually harassed at school, consider letting a Lexington, KY sexual harassment attorney help you file a complaint regarding the incident.
While it is important to acknowledge the progress the #MeToo movement has made along with the efforts many others have put forward in recognizing sexual harassment for the crime that it is, we can’t forget that the issue is still occurring and people are still being victimized.
If you or someone you know was the unfortunate victim of an act of sexual harassment or assault in KY, don’t wait to contact a Lexington, KY sexual harassment attorney. USAttorneys.com can place you in contact with a professional now who is familiar with handling these types of cases and will know what steps need to be taken so that your incident is not ignored.