With summer coming to an end and a new school-year just around the corner, young people across the country are preparing to leave home and head to college for the first time. Feelings of excitement, nervousness, fear, and anticipation are overwhelming as teenagers prepare for the next chapter in their lives. Despite countless trips to retail stores and shopping centers, some young adults will be taking their first steps into orientation without the valuable tools they will need to succeed.
The unfortunate reality is that 20-25% of women are sexually assaulted during their college careers. In particular, the first six weeks of the year are known by experts as “the red zone,” since it is the most dangerous time for campus sexual assault.[i] As a result, it is crucial that – before teenagers leave home – they have the skills and knowledge to navigate the tricky landscape of a college campus.
Here at Triangle, Inc., we are proud to provide the necessary tools for young women of all abilities to start their college careers feeling safe and confident. Triangle’s IMPACT program has developed College Bound Safety, a research-based safety program designed to give young women the skills needed to recognize and interrupt attempted sexual assaults while supporting their peers to engage in healthy relationships.
Thanks to a generous $10,000 grant from Eastern Bank, IMPACT is able to bring this meaningful training to young women in Brockton High School’s junior and senior classes who are transitioning to a community college, four-year university, or professional school. Through Brockton High School’s peer mediation program, students who complete College Bound Safety will have the opportunity to educate their fellow students about healthy relationships, warning signs for abuse, and effective ways to intervene if a friend is at risk.
We will start by training 50 young women with our well-established curriculum. Once they are trained, they will be able to educate their peers – maximizing the total reach of our project to over 200 students. Through this framework, we are able to create a sustainable model that will benefit countless future students before they take their next life step. As a result, young women can walk onto their campus in the fall with certainty – knowing they have the tools needed to safely and fully embrace the next four years (or more).
[i] Campus Sexual Assault Study, 2007; Matthew Kimble, Andrada Neacsiu, et. Al, Risk of Unwanted Sex for College Women: Evidence for a Red Zone, Journal of American College Health (2008).