College campuses should be a safe environment where students come together to share ideas as well as learn. Unfortunately, higher learning institutions are not exempted from violence. Horrific acts like those of mass shootings do bring the subject of violence in campuses at the fore-front but it is not only guns that students should be worried about. Violence in colleges is not only about random incidents of shooting, it goes beyond that. There are numerous types of violence including, mental, theft, vandalism, sexual abuse and physical violence.
Types of Violence That Occur in Campuses
17% of students in colleges worldwide have reported to have experienced some form of violence or harassment in the past year. Only by having an understanding about what violence is are you in a position to stop or prevent it.
Below is a list of some of the more common forms of violence:
- Physical Violence
Physical violence includes the following but not limited to; damage to property, physical assault and shootings in campus
- Psychological Violence
This is why one party induces fear on another student and causes them emotional anguish and they could use this as a tool to control them. Stalking is a good example for this. It is where a person’s behavior patterns and acts are used so as to threaten, harass and intimidate another student and they fear for their safety.
- Sexual Assault
This is a particular type of sexual harassment that involves actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without their consent. It includes, rape, fondling and statutory rape.
- Violence Based on Racism
This generally shown disregard of human life and can cause the other party emotional anguish. Violence based on racism can result in bodily harm, injury and sometimes even death. This type of violence is considered a hate crime.
- Violence Based on Homophobia
Homophobia is defined as the hatred or fear of homosexuals. This can sometimes lead to acts of violence and other expressions of hostility. This can result to bodily harm or injury or emotional anguish on the victim.
Violence Prevention Measures
- Never take your personal safety for granted. Always be aware of your surroundings. For most institutions of higher learning safety is a priority but even with that there are some additional ways that you can improve your own safety.
- Familiarization with the school’s campus safety office. Every school has one, and you should make the most out of it by utilizing the services. Get all the information you can get about their office hours, their telephone numbers and the services they offer.
- Take extra caution at night. On average crimes such as sexual assault usually take place at night. Even though you should not be paranoid that danger is around the corner you should not walk alone at night. You can call campus security to give you a ride.
- On social media, maintain privacy. Social media is a great way to connect with people but with everything you post be aware of who can view it. Avoid geotagging on photos as it reveals locations to strangers.
- Learn to defend yourself. Physically knowing how to defend yourself can be very empowering. You feel safer and more confident especially when you are alone. You can sign up for self-defense classes from a professional instructor.