Assaults against women have been a common occurrence in Columbia the past few weeks, several even happening on campus.
Last week 19-year-old Timothy Anderson was arrested on three counts of assault on women of University of Missouri.
Campus security sent an email informing students that an intruder had been on campus and that he had allegedly approached many women. These women said he approached them asking questions before awkwardly walking away. This incident left many women shaken up and afraid to continue normal activities.
It is rumored that Anderson lives not far from campus.
Crime is obviously becoming a growing problem in Columbia. Stephens being an all women college means we need to make sure we are aware of our surroundings at all time.
Here are a few tips on how to stay safe on and off campus:
-Never travel alone. If you should decide to travel alone, notify someone of where you will be and what time you expect to return.
-Always be aware of your surroundings and the people you surround yourself with.
-Look confident. A predator is less likely to attack if you do not come off as a weak person who can be defeated.
-Keep your doors locked while driving.
-Pepper spray could be your best friend if used properly. Do not have it at the bottom of your purse or bag, always have it easily accessible especially when traveling alone.
-Scream “FIRE” not “HELP.” Most people ignore or become afraid when people yell for help because they do not want harm caused to them. When you yell “fire” the response will be greater because people are more nosey.
These are just a few tips that can help keep your travels safer. MU also offers self- defense classes for women ages 11 and up called Rape Aggression Defense Systems, (R.A.D.) For more information on the cases or to sign up for R.A.D. visit www.mupolice.com.