Ahead of the fall semester, universities and parents will be looking to promote campus safety for students, and Safe Hub helps do just that.
Life on campus has been hugely disrupted over the past eighteen months. In a bid to promote the safety of their students, universities sought to restrict the spread of coronavirus. And necessarily, they'll continue to adopt measures to protect against Covid-19 in the coming academic year. But there are other long-standing threats to student safety on campus. Sexual harassment and sexual violence remain a severe problem at US universities, from inappropriate comments to physical assault. Of course, it's a problem for people of every age and gender, but it is still young women aged 18-24 who suffer most. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the scale of the problem, and how Safe Hub's personal security solution helps address it.
Sexual violence has been prevalent at US universities
Safety and security on campus are paramount concerns for students and parents alike. College students are among the most at-risk group to become victims of crime in the country. Sadly, sexual violence accounts for much of this crime. Sexual violence consists of a continuum of behaviors such as attempted or completed rape, sexual coercion, unwanted contact, and non-contact unwanted experiences like harassment.
To understand the scale of the problem, it’s important to have some data. However, sexual violence is notoriously difficult to measure, and there is no sole source of data that provides a complete picture of the crime in the U.S. Some of the most reliable collated statistics come from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), using a range of government and academic sources. According to RAINN, women aged 18-24 are up to four times more at risk from sexual violence when compared to the entire female population in the U.S. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, reports of sex offenses more than tripled between 2001 and 2016. And violent attacks, such as aggravated assaults and robberies, have been trending upwards in recent years, having declined in the period 2001-14.
Under-reporting and the true scale of the problem
Preventing sexual violence of all types requires a shift in culture and climate. Stopping violence before it occurs is ideal, but such primary prevention is challenging work and culture change takes time. Unfortunately, one element of the culture is a fear of victim-blaming and other complex feelings on behalf of survivors of sexual violence. This means that many victims either seek to minimize their own experience, or actively choose not to talk about it.
Indeed, under-reporting is a serious additional problem, particularly for young women in college. RAINN calculates that only 20% of female student victims aged 18-24 report to law enforcement. This compares to 32% of non-student females in the same age bracket. Of course, this also has long-term consequences; only about 1 in 6 college-aged female survivors received assistance from a victim services agency.
Anecdotally, under-reporting may be partly to do with a lack of confidence or familiarity with their surroundings. More than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November. And students are at increased risk during the first few months of their first and second semesters in college.
How Safe Hub promotes campus safety
Of course, universities themselves have safety measures in place, including coordinated alert notification systems when an incident occurs on campus. But individual students may want an added level of security, especially when they're unfamiliar with their surroundings. And that's where Sky Alert comes in, providing 24/7/365 support via our state-of-the-art Monitoring & Response Center.
Students can choose either the Safe Hub Smartphone app or the Sky Alert SOS Fob. In each case, high-quality two-way audio means they can report any safety concerns to our trained agents. We use pin-point sharp GPS data to locate them, and we can direct emergency services or campus law enforcement to their exact location. What's more, the recorded conversations can be used as evidence in any future investigation or prosecution.
With Sky Alert in their pocket, students can call for assistance in several ways, triggering an emergency Red Alert or using their device as a virtual buddy. They’ll have priority 24/7 access to emergency services. And parents can be involved as an emergency contact, as part of the escalation process if students raise an alert. As we draw to the start of the fall semester, let's all take action to protect students from sexual violence and harassment or other crimes on campus.
To find out more about how Safe Hub enhances campus safety, contact one of the team today.
Call +1- 855-393-7668
About Sky Alert
Safe Hub, from Sky Alert, is an advanced security platform that protects people working alone. With pinpoint accuracy and lightning-fast response, Safe Hub is not just another 911 app. It's all-around protection for lone workers. Using a discreet personal device such as the SOS Fob, our advanced App on a smartphone, or the SPOT X satellite device, Safe Hub connects users with a state-of-the-art Monitoring Response Center (MRC). At the MRC, highly trained operatives can provide immediate assistance directing the police or paramedics to your GPS location in the fastest time possible.