Less Than Lethal Self Defense Blog

College safety: 5 tips to stay safe

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

Many college freshmen are moving into their dorms ahead of the fall   semester, and a new video created by a young woman hopes to help her   peers avoid potential dangers.

What began as a freely distributed film in 2006 has grown into a   "million girl revolution combating violence against young women." With   one in four women experiencing sexual assault and a third of young women   enduring dating abuse, Dallas Jessup, who founded the Just Yell Fire   nonprofit at 14, released a new video to help protect young co-eds on   campus.


  1. Be cautious at parties. Date   rape drugs are prevalent at college parties and many are impossible to   detect without a test kit, so it's important to never set down a drink   and come back to it.
  2. Go with groups. It's   also best to go to parties or unknown areas with a group and leave with   that group. In the interim, the group can watch out for its members --   especially when alcohol is involved because personalities can change   under the influence.
  3. Choose well-lit ATMs and parking lots. Making   a stop at a cash machine is a common for college students, but   predators can use ATMs in less-traveled locations as a hunting ground.   Dark parking lots are also a dangerous spot, but if there are no other   options, remember that there is safety in numbers and campus security   guards will escort a student to a vehicle.
  4. Lock doors to prevent hall-cruising assaults. A   significant amount of on-campus violence comes from hall cruising. This   occurs when innocent-looking predators gain access to a dormitory,   residence hall or sorority home with the help of trusting residents and   then prowl the halls to check for unlocked doors and victims.
  5. Use campus shuttles. Late   night trips to the library or social visits are a part of college life,   but walking at night is a risk. Remember, campuses are open to   outsiders from all directions, and catching a lift can take you past a   predator waiting to pounce.

WATCH ONLINE FOR FREE: http://www.justyellfire.com/movie.php

Freshman Kali Kaliska told FOX 9 News she is excited about being on   her own for the first time this semester at the University of Minnesota.

"I'm going to be doing sorority stuff," Kaliska said. "I got a job, [and am] trying out for the Lacrosse team."

College is a time for young people to enjoy exploring new   experiences, but campus can be a dangerous place for young women. A   quarter of female college students will experience rape or attempted   rape, and that's something that Kaliska is concerned about.

"I feel kind of defenseless," she admitted.

Kaliska's parents have been preaching the importance of personal   safety practices -- and for good reason. Two of their older daughters,   who attended different universities, once had something slipped into   their drink. Thankfully, however, neither was assaulted.

"They were like, 'Mom, we didn't set it down very long. We all stood   around the bar,'" recalled Carrie Kaliska. "I said, 'It doesn't take   much. You guys have got to be more careful when you leave and go to the   bathroom. You hand your drink to a friend.'"

Date rape drugs are just one reason the campus-version of Just Yell   Fire was created, and one of the several tips in the co-ed safety film   is to never leave a drink unattended.

"Students are coming in with this notion of having a good time and   finding themselves and not necessarily focusing on the fact that they   may be the target of some type of violence," Katie Eichele said.