Back-to-School season is peak of danger on college campuses
More than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November, according to a study published in the Journal of American College Health. Alcohol is just one risk factor on campus. But one that cannot be ignored because of its prevalence. Students are excited to be back on campus, throwing reunion parties before buckling down to work. And, for many schools it is football season and weekends are spent tailgating. Late nights studying can result in students walking back to a dorm or apartment alone. Even a walk or a jog during free time can put safety at risk if done in a remote area.
The personal safety experts at Krav Maga Worldwide prepare men and women of all ages, even children, teaching them to be situationally aware and safer in any environment. Krav Maga Worldwide also provides self-defense training to over 1,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies and military units. Here are a few methods they recommend for college students.
Be Trackable– Leave a physical and digital trail of your destination when you head out on your own. Leave a note in your dorm or apartment stating when you are leaving, where you are going, who you might be going with, and when you plan on returning. Download an app that informs family and friends of your location and that has an emergency SOS feature you can activate if you encounter trouble.
Put Your Head on a Swivel – Do not walk around campus with your head down. Stay aware of who and what is around you at all times. Naturally look to your left, right and over your shoulders on occasion to get a full view of who is around you and what is happening. Also, to remain aware of your environment, avoid texting while walking. If you have to text it’s preferable you stop, put your back up against a wall (to reduce your “domain of danger”), and type/send your text.
Make Eye Contact – When you cross paths with another person, look that person in the face. Make eye contact. Let them know that you have seen them and will remember what he/she looks like. This can deter someone with negative intentions because in an unplanned attack they want an unsuspecting victim who they will be anonymous to, not someone who knows their face.
Turn Down the Tunes – Music is a great motivator during a workout. But if you are walking or running with your music on high volume it is easy to miss what is happening around you. Keep music volume at a level where you can hear if someone is approaching you on foot, bike or in a vehicle.
Go Hands Free – Someone walking on campus with arms full of books, a phone in hand and other gear or devices encumbering their ability to move is an easy target. Having hands and arms full of items makes it hard to fight back and people with bad intentions will be looking for an easy victim like this.
For more tips and instructional videos on personal self-defense tactics, visit www.kravmaga.com.
Howard Mallen is the co-founder and CEO of Krav Maga Worldwide. Howard began training in Krav Maga at age twelve receiving instruction directly from Chief Instructor Darren Levine, who brought Krav Maga to the United States and was mentored by the founder of Krav Maga, Imi Lichetenfeld. Howard has practiced Krav Maga for over 30 years earning his black belt in 1993 and his third degree black belt in 2012. He is a Certified full instructor by the Wingate Institute of Physical Education and Sport (Netanya, Israel), the Krav Maga Association of America, the Israeli Krav Maga Association, and the International Krav Maga Federation. Previously, Howard served as the Director of the Krav Maga Association’s Law Enforcement Training Division where he was responsible for coordinating all Krav Maga law enforcement training in the U.S., and he spent 15 years as a lead force instructor for the Santa Monica Police Department’s defensive tactics unit.