The college lifestyle can leave you open to physical, sexual, and emotional assault from others. Peer pressure from friends, the use of drugs and alcohol, late nights, and odd schedules contribute to these crimes. With statistics showing college campus violence is prevalent, find out what you need to know to stay safe.
Lighted streets, protests about violence, editorials, aware social media posting, and word of mouth are all good ways to encourage others not to put up with abusive behavior.
However, on a personal level, it is important to protect yourself with these guidelines:
- Choose your friends wisely
- Stay in groups when you are out after dark
- Trust your instincts about people. If you have a bad feeling about someone, just get away. You don’t owe them an excuse.
- Stay in well-lighted areas
- Always let friends know where you are and what you are doing
- Vary your schedule so that you are not predictable
- Report any odd behavior to campus police
- Seek out a guidance counselor if you are confused about what constitutes violent behavior. If you question someone’s behavior, listen to your doubts and find help.
- Take campus transportation if you are out late by yourself for a class or non-avoidable situation and let someone know you are on your way.
Unfortunately though, you can’t ultimately prevent violence. Taking some of these steps may minimize your risk of being victimized, but the only people who can prevent violence are the perpetrators. If you have been victimized, it is not your fault. Nothing you did or did not do could have prevented it or means you are to blame. The only person to blame is the one who harmed you.
North Carolina Campus Violence Statistics
According to North Carolina college campus violence statistics from the Coalition Against Domestic Violence,
- 43% of dating college women report that they experienced some violent and abusive dating behaviors. These included physical, sexual, tech, verbal, or controlling abuse. (Knowledge Networks, 2011).
- 1 in 5 college women (22%) report physical abuse, sexual abuse, or threats of physical violence (knowledge Networks, 2011). The same study also revealed that 57% of college students surveyed said that it’s difficult to identify dating abuse. 58% said that they don’t know what to do to help someone who is a victim of dating abuse.
- More than 40% of LGBTQ+ college students report that they have experienced inter-personal violence (IPV) in their current relationships. This rate generally aligns with the rate of violence among heterosexual couples (Edwards & Sylaska, 2014)
Types of Restraining Orders
If you or someone you know is experiencing college campus violence, help is available. There are 3 types of restraining orders available to those who need help in North Carolina. Whether you are in a relationship or dealing with a stalker, you don’t have to live in fear.
Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO/50B)
This restraining order is available to persons who have:
1) Experienced domestic violence (including physical, sexual, and/or stalking/harassment) AND
2) Have a “personal relationship” with the person who hurt them.
Civil No-Contact Order (50C)
This restraining order is available to persons who have experienced:
1) Stalking or nonconsensual sexual conduct AND
2) Do not have a “personal relationship” with the person who hurt them.
Permanent Civil No-Contact Order for Sex Offender (50D)
This restraining order is only available if you have been the victim of a sex offense where the offender was convicted of the crime and you did not receive a criminal “no contact” order as part of the criminal case.
Domestic violence occurs at the same rate in same-sex dating relationships as in opposite-sex relationships. If you are a victim in a same-sex relationship, you may encounter even more barriers to accessing the court system and legal remedies. The law in this area is evolving and you may need an attorney to represent your rights in a way that the North Carolina legal system understands.
Scharff Law is an LGBTQ-affirming firm representing victims of stalking and domestic violence. We can help you think through what will work best for you whether you are in a relationship or have experienced stalking. No matter your sexual orientation or gender identity, you deserve to live without fear. You deserve a life free from personal violence toward you. If you need help fighting for your rights against college campus violence, we are available and stay connected with you until you are once again safe and protected.