As a parent, you may have mixed feelings about your student leaving home and being on his or her own. Like many parents, you may be concerned for your student’s personal safety and well-being. We encourage you to talk with your son or daughter about personal safety and using protective strategies. Here is a list of general safety tips your son or daughter can use to help remain safe:
- Always keep doors locked--even when at home
- Do not prop open exterior doors
- Do not lend your keys or key card to anyone
- Do not carry large sums of money or valuable items (or keep them in the residence halls)
- Always find out who is knocking before opening the door
- Do not walk alone--Campus Escorts are available to provide safe walks around campus. Call (330)672-7004.
- For a complete list of campus safety tips, please visit the KSU Police Services website.
In addition to talking to your student about personal safety, you may suggest that your student develop a safety plan with roommates or friends. A safety plan might include:
- Posting emergency contact numbers
- Sharing weekly/daily schedules
- A process for checking in if someone is going to be out past a certain time
- A signal to indicate when someone is in danger and needs assistance (this could be a code word or phrase)
- An escape route from the residence
- A designated “safe place" to meet
- Secure but easy access to emergency money, credit cards, and identifying information
- A plan for “going-out” which includes
- numbers for taxis and/or campus escorts
- a sign or word indicating that a person needs help
- a promise to leave--as a group--any situation that may feel uncomfortable
It is also important to remember that a student may do everything possible to protect him or herself and still be a victim of a crime, such as sexual assault. The use of protective strategies does not exclude someone from being a target – such strategies can only reduce the chances. If your student becomes a victim of a crime, there are campus systems in place to help with recovery. And your support is vital. Questioning whether or not your student used protective strategies implies he or she is somehow to blame for what has happened. Only an offender can truly prevent a crime from taking place.