NewsU.S. and the World


Start of new school year can pose danger for college students

Posted at 2:24 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 16:24:35-04

The start of a new school year can be especially dangerous for college students.

The Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that more than half of college sexual assaults happen from the start of the school year through November.

Students in their first and second semesters are most at risk and experts say newer students might not know what resources are available to them. Students also can worry how it might affect their social lives.

"These are students who are making new friends. They're expanding their social circle. And we know that 8-out-of 10 rapes are committed by a perpetrator known to the victim," said Erinn Robinson with RAINN.

Another barrier is fear of not being believed.

RAINN wants people to know it's not just victims who need to act. Using the acronym CARE, the group wants bystanders to do something.

C-stands for create a distraction. A-stands for ask directly. R- is refer to an authority -- whether it's police or an advisor. E- is for enlisting others -- getting more people to help.

The MeToo movement has encouraged more survivors to come forward. There is also a national sexual assault hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE. It's staffed 24-7 to help victims get the resources available.