Education minimizes rape risk

The statistics for the number of women sexually assaulted in America is rising.

According to, one in four college women have been raped or suffered an attempted rape and every 21 hours there is a rape on an American college campus.

Although women are sexually assaulted more often than men, men are not immune from being victims of this crime.

Approximately five to 10 percent of sexual assaults involve male victims, according to

Most people know someone who has been sexually assaulted. But many options, including awareness and education, are available to help people minimize their risk of being sexually assaulted.

Students can start by speaking with a counselor to learn about defenses against sexual assault.

Natasha O. Clayton, a victim advocate counselor at the Center for Human Development, said students should first be aware that sexual assault is a common problem.

“Students should know the facts, be careful who they take drinks from and avoid going out alone at night,” Clayton said. “There is a high importance for people to look at the violence aspect as opposed to the nature of the sex act.”

Clayton also said sexual assault is about power, not sex.

Self-defense classes can prepare students for possible attacks from sexual offenders. Various types of classes, such as kickboxing and martial arts, teach students how to fight perpetrators and escape from potential attackers.

Alix Taylor, 19, a kickboxing instructor at FAMU’s Fitness Center said, “We teach women how to keep space between their person and the attacker.”

“We teach maneuvers to help women get out of holds, [because] men attack men differently than they attack women,” said the business administration student from Los Angeles.

Kickboxing classes are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 – 11:50 a.m. in the Fitness Center.

Seeking the advice of a counselor or taking self-defense classes are not the only options.

Students can also equip themselves with defensive objects.

Pepper spray, mace and stun guns are common defense products that are used to impair attackers long enough for victims to flee to safety.

By incorporating defense mechanisms, people are more likely to avoid being victims of sexual assault.

Clayton said the best defense against sexual assault is awareness.

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