Counseling Services - Safety


With the growing concern among students regarding campus safety, we thought that it would be advantageous to present the following information.  The following is a list of tips that you can use to protect yourself and others.

General Safety Tips:

Some tips on Avoiding Attacks:
       There is safety in numbers, travel in a group.
       Try to stay near streetlights.
       Don't carry large amounts of cash.
       Plan and know your route ahead of time.
       Don't flaunt expensive jewelry.

If you're Being Followed:
       Cross the street.
       Change your direction.
       Keep looking back.
       Go to a well lighted area
       Notice as much as possible about the person following you.
       Try to attract some attention by yelling "Police, Fire or Help."

Where you live:
       Keep your doors locked at all times
       Don't let strangers in your home
       Don't leave a door unlocked for someone planning to come later.

Using Public Transportation:
       Try to avoid isolated bus stops and times of travelling when few people are around.
       Stay away from the curb until your bus arrives.
       If possible, sit near the driver and notify him/her of any problems.



Rape and sexual assault happen to women, men and children of all ages, races, classes, and educational levels. People at college are at high risk of sexual violence, so it is important for students to talk about the issue and learn what resources are available in the case of a rape or sexual assault.  Here are some facts about sexual assault.
    Most rape survivors were acquainted with their attackers.   Assaults often take place in the living quarters of either the perpetrator or the victim.
    Many of the assaults involve the consumption of alcohol either by the perpetrator, the victim, or both.  The alcohol can lessen people's inhibitions and their defenses. 
    The majority of perpetrators of sexual violence on campus are men.   The victims are primarily women, but men are sexually assaulted by men, and occasionally but less frequently, by women. Contrary to many people's assumptions, men who assault other men usually don't think of themselves as gay or bisexual.
    Some students become involved in relationships where emotional control and physical or sexual abuse occurs in a cycle similar to domestic violence. Many students have past experiences of sexual violence, child sexual abuse, or rape as a young teen, which they are still working to understand and resolve.
    Sexual assault, i.e., any nonconsensual sexual activity (including unwanted touching of a person's genitals, breasts, or buttocks, forced oral, anal, or vaginal penetration) is a criminal act.
    Studies show that 1 in 4 women will be the target of some form of sexual assault during her lifetime.
    Many men convicted of rape go to prison not even understanding or believing that what they did was rape.
    Rohypnol, also know as the "date rape drug".  It is a prescription tranquilizer.  When mixed with alcohol, it can cause disorientation and blackouts or even be life threatening.  Don't leave drinks unattended.  Never drink anything out of an open container.  If someone offers to buy you a drink, go with that person and watch the bartender make your drink.  If you suspect you have ingested Rohypnol, go directly to the emergency room and be sure to ask for a urine test.

What can you do?

        Make educated decisions
       Don't be too trusting of anyone you have just met
       Don't be naive about someone that you have only talked to once or twice
       Make sure you have control over the situation.
       Tell your date you will meet them at a neutral place
       Use the buddy system so other people will be looking out for you

What are the effects of sexual assault?

        Fluctuating emotions
        Lowered trust in others
        Feelings of shame and anger
        Loss of control
        Difficulty concentrating on work or studies.
        Eating, sleeping, or social patterns may change
        They may want to talk to others with similar experiences
        With time they will experience renewed strength and esteem at having survived

What are options for survivors?

          Information, Counseling or Emotional Support:  For information you can contact Student Counseling Services, Classroom Center room 116 or call 806.651.2340.  They can explain the many implications of the actions you may be considering, and can serve as your on-the-spot advocate in many of those instances.  These same services are also available to you in helping a friend who has been assaulted.
        Immediate Medical Concerns:  Call 911.   To leave your options for pressing charges open, have evidence collected or be tested for Rohypnol or other drugs at the hospital with in 72 hours of the assault.
        Less immediate Medical Concerns:   Schedule an appointment at Student Medical Services VHAC rm 104 806-651-3287.
        Safety and law enforcement:  WTAMU Police Department will respond on an emergency basis to provide transportation to the Emergency Department, take reports of an assault, investigate, and participate in the appropriate legal or judicial action.  They can also provide the equivalent of a restraining order for campus.
        Academic and Residential Life:  After a crisis or assault, you may have concerns about security or feel a need to change your residence or your phone number.  You may also need academic intervention (an excuse from class, an extension, or a leave of absence). Student Counseling Services can help you identify the appropriate deans, and can accompany you or help you arrange a meeting to discuss your needs.