By Nkem Ikeh
Sexual assault is something that most people either avoid to talk about or pretend it doesn’t happen. Fact is, it does and can happen to either gender. No one wants to go through such trauma or wish another would. So, pay attention to the details and share with your friends and family member. Let us all stay safe.
- Avoid really late night outings alone: When you think university life, you think late night because that is when you are most free. Almost everything comes alive at night however, don’t experience this joy alone. If you stay late to read or just to hang out with friends, when you are ready to go back to the hostel, make sure you do so in groups. It is easier for an attack to happen to one person than a group of five.
- If for some random reason you find yourself alone at night, avoid poorly lit areas. If you can, carry a florescent on your head or even wear Christmas lights just please avoid darkness.
- Do not answer or follow strangers. I know what you are thinking, “we were told this when we were kids, we can’t fall for it” but you would be surprised. Sometimes, they come in the guise of asking for directions and tell you to come into a car for a lift. If it seems too convenient then don’t do it. If also you want to help with directions, stand a few feet away.
- If you think you might be late, wear tough-to-remove clothes. I know this might be tricky but it sometimes works. Wear two jeans shorts if you have to and a hoodie.
- Lock your doors and windows when you sleep and when you leave the room. If you see anyone lurking around your house or hostel, feel free to alert the right authorities.
- If it is your lecturer or a superior authority that is throwing assault comments, glances, or proposals your way, then find a proof and report to the right authorities. Also, each time something like that happens, tell a friend. It always helps to have witnesses say they heard you mention it a couple of times when the time comes for a face-off with the authorities.
Finally, preventing assaults is instinctive as well. Trust your instincts and if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Make a run for it.
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