Rape Prevention Tips

Spring break is on the minds of many college students. In less than a week they'll head towards their destinations. Health officials say during spring break 2004 more than 6,000 sex offenses were reported.

A new campaign is being promoted to help curb that crime. Starting Monday, college students in Tallahassee will be trading in their jackets and rain gear for a little fun in the sun as they head to the beach for spring break.

While some students are enjoying the scenery, health officials are sending out an important message of rape prevention. They're partnering with hotels in spring break destinations distributing 15-minute calling cards to students.

Nancy Humbert, DOH Women's Health Officer, says, "We're going to be giving it out and when they check into the hotels and different hotels, which are excellent when they activate these they automatically hear a 30-second message which gives them some tips on how to prevent sexual offenses.”

Health officials say those offenses occur when students drink more alcohol and lose their inhibitions, but some are taking precautionary measures to avoid that scenario.

Leina Raines an FSU college student, says, "We know this is a high risk time and we now have to watch out because a lot of rapes do occur during spring break, so me as well as my friends and sisters will be very cautious with the things we do and our surroundings."

Maria Conigliaro also a student, adds, "Girls are prone to being taken advantage off during clubs, especially where there are crowds and you should always [be] drinking responsibly."

Health officials are hoping this new campaign will "spare" college-aged travelers from pain and heartache. Those who call the 800 number will get help from a rape crisis center who will then locate a counselor to help them.