The state Department of Health is reaching out to college women with a calling card the department hopes the women will not have to use.
Florida State University student Amity Moncrief feels relatively safe on campus, but she says, “I am always aware of my surroundings.”
Amity avoids walking on campus at night. A Justice Department study shows college women are more likely to be raped than non-students of the same age. Last year Florida universities reported 26 rapes. National statistics show almost three percent of college women experience rape or attempted rape each year.
That’s why Florida’s Health Department is distributing calling cards with a rape hotline number.
University officials across the state are always trying to make college students feel safer. If a student feels threatened they can go to these emergency posts and hit a button which notifies university police right away. Police say in many of the sexual assault cases it’s not a stranger but an acquaintance.
MAJ Tom Longo says, “People will use alcohol and drugs as a social lubricant to get more access to what they want to happen that night. They need to be aware that’s a crime.”
125,000 of the calling cards containing the rape hotline number are being distributed, but it is a number police hope students won’t have to use. Overall the number of reported rapes is down at most Florida universities from 2003 to 2004