Have you seen this Teen Vogue article that reports that, according to the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, freshmen in college, more than any other group, are victims of sexual assault in college. Later in the article it says,
“Of course, sexual assault is no one’s fault but the rapist’s, but having friends to look out for you is definitely a safety net. Your friends will typically keep track of where you are, and get you home safely if you need the assistance.
Instead of relying on close friends, we should all be looking out for one another. If you’re at a party and you see someone potentially in trouble, you can either intervene yourself, find that person’s friends and let them know, or call campus police.”
It is the topic of “friends to look out for you” and this idea the writer shares about a “safety net” that I’d like to focus on. The reality of college freshman being the most vulnerable to sexual assault is horrifying. I want to provide these college students with as many “safety nets” as possible.
The article quoted above lists several great “safety nets” — friends to intervene, others who can help, and campus police — and I’d like to add another. Suppose it’s Friday night on your local college campus and you and a group of friends decide to go to a nearby party. At the party, a guy begins to take interest in one of your friends. He is hanging around your friend, dancing, and asking her to leave with him. You decide to take a picture of the new couple so you have some record of who this guy is — to protect your friend — if anything happens and a photo is needed.
But later in the evening, as yous check for a text from your friend, a woman telling a story waves her arms too emphatically and knocks your phone out of your hand. It flies and bounces on the concrete floor, bits and pieces spraying as it shatters.
And everything on your phone is gone.
Your friend who left the party with the new guy…she’s gone. The next day, you learn she’s become a part of the freshman statistics.
And any evidence you had on your phone to help her is gone.
Here is where college campuses around the world can add the “safety net” of Pyngby. With Pyngby, that picture you took would have been stored in a secure cloud, and no matter what happened to the phone afterwards, the picture would be remain safe, secure, and available to help your friend when she needed it.
Do you know a college student navigating the sometimes treacherous world of college parties and dating? Please share these “safety nets” with them on Twitter or Facebook!