The Red Zone
The Red Zone is the first six weeks of the fall semester, between the first day of fall semester and Thanksgiving break, in which students are at the highest risk for encountering sexual violence. There are many reasons that this part of the year has a higher risk. Students are meeting new people and trying to fit in, and they may participate in certain activities for the first time. They have less parental supervision and increased independence, which may lead to certain behaviors, such as experimenting with alcohol or other drugs. Students may be new to the city and may be adjusting to a new environment and getting oriented.
Here are some tips for reducing the risk for sexual violence:
- Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts and leave.
- Take control of your online presence. Think twice before sharing personal information, whereabouts and activities.
- Make others earn your trust. Take time to get to know your peers. Do not assume that everyone you meet will look out for you.
- Speak out. If a situation seems questionable, speak up and alert others. You may prevent a crime from occurring.
- Be aware and stay alert. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times.
- Make plans and be prepared. Be intentional about your plans with friends. Keep phones charged so that you have a way to reach someone trusted if needed.
- Party smart. Keep track of what you’ve consumed so that you may stay in control.
- Be a good friend. Watch out for each other. Stick together in groups, and take notice if a friend is acting out of character.
Adapted from RAINN
For resources and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
Student Victim Assistance