Choosing a Safe College When They are all Dangerous

Choosing a Safe College When They are all Dangerous

As a parent or perspective student, it might seem pointless to consider safe from sexual assault a major selection criterion when choosing a school as they all seem equally dangerous. It is true at this point it is impossible to determine the level of safety at any school.

Campus sexual assault and misconduct is everywhere. We see stories of frats chanting rape, women assaulted by study partners, women targeted to be drugged and assaulted, a how-to-rape guide posted, and on and on the stories are told. There is a shocking amount of sexual violence on campuses. University of California President Janet Napolitano testified before a U.S. Senate committee last month and said the issue of campus sexual assault is one of “national importance.” Research and media reports indicate the epidemic levels of campus sexual assault are pervasive across all colleges and universities.

Colleges and universities are finding it more difficult to continue to sweep sexual misconduct incidents under the rug, and as a result of the Campus SAve Act they seem to be scrambling to implement practices and procedures to address campus sexual assault which may or may not be effective. Certainly, some are doing better than others but it really is impossible to make a definitive determination of which are the safest.

So, what is the point of making safe from sexual assault a selection criterion when there isn’t much of a choice? How can it help to use the Keep Her Safe Parent Toolkit during the selection process especially when there are so many other aspects to consider?

Nearly everyone working on stopping campus sexual assault indicates parents need to be involved. Keep Her Safe offers an organized way for parents to be involved and move solutions forward in a market focused way.

  • Colleges and universities are businesses too, and businesses respond to consumer demand
  • School administrators have to hear the consumer demand to respond appropriately
  • Parents joining together to demand campuses where sexual assault is prevented communicates a clear consumer demand
  • The selection process is the time during which parents have the most leverage as schools are competing against one another for applications
  • When parents use the processes in the Keep Her Safe Parent Toolkit a consistent message is made
  • Schools will begin to create and implement protocols that work and which they can promote

Keep Her Safe knows we will never be able to keep our children totally safe from any risk, including campus sexual assault. However, as parents we have spent years doing what we can to mitigate health and safety dangers. By engaging in the issue with college and university officials, parents can have an effect on stopping campus sexual assault making all students safer.

By

Sheri Heitker Dixon is the founder of Keep Her Safe, a non-profit organization committed to making college campuses safe from sexual assault.

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