SHERIFF CARMINE MARCENO’S AUGUST SAFETY & SECURITY TIP: SITUATIONAL AWARENESS IN A NEW COLLEGE ENVIRONMENT
Leaving home, for college, can be an extraordinary and memorable experience. Teens have an opportunity to mature, to learn self-sufficiency and to enjoy a less restrictive environment.
College campuses and the surrounding areas create opportunities for conscienceless and unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of your child’s lack of life experience and their vulnerability. It is a good time to remind your young adults about situational awareness and the consequences that can come about from alcohol and illicit drug consumption.
Be certain that your child knows his/her limits…that they are aware of the amount of alcohol that they have consumed…and that they don’t find themselves incapacitated or unable to think clearly and responsibly. Friends who generously buy them multiple drinks may not have the best of intentions.
While at social settings and college events, individuals must understand that it is critical to protect their drink. Never leave a drink unattended…not for a moment. Only drink from containers/cans/bottles that were given to you unopened. For mixed drinks, ensure that they have watched the drink being made and avoid allowing others to go to the bar to get them a drink. Be aware that perpetrators of drug-facilitated assault may use substances that have no color, taste or odor. Simply looking into your cup/glass will be virtually futile.
During any social activity…at any time…it is prudent to leave when they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Whether they are in the middle of a crowded social event, a bar-setting, a campus party or a private get-together…never hesitate to excuse themselves and leave when they feel pressured, threatened or uneasy. That feeling, “in their gut,” is their intuition working hard to get a message to them. Trust that feeling! Ensure that your child feels confident enough to leave under such circumstances.
Lastly, be a good friend. While they may be proactively protecting themselves against being a victim, their friends may not be as cautious. If they observe something inappropriate, say something before it’s too late.
Always remember, any situation, related to these issues mentioned, may be a crime and should be reported immediately.