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New Jersey high schools teach rape prevention

detective

Study finds female college freshmen at high risk

March 15, 1997
Web posted at: 8:36 p.m. EST (0136 GMT)

From Correspondent Cynthia Tornquist

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (CNN) -- Freshmen women are facing more than academic and social pressures at college these days.

Along with the anxiety of separation from home and making new friends, they are being warned to be alert to the possibility of rape.

Twenty-five percent of female students are sexually assaulted during their college years, according to the American College Health Association. Of those, 60 percent are attacked during their first semester.

New Jersey high schools have taken note of the data and are trying to arm women with more knowledge before they reach a college campus. They have introduced a rape-prevention course called Campus Confidence, which offers a video and an interactive manual to teach students how to avoid rape.

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The program is simple: Teach students how to recognize a potentially dangerous situation and defuse it once it starts. Law enforcement officers are helping to instruct the teens.

Avoiding danger

Michael McBride, founder of Campus Confidence, is the author of the program. He tells students how to shun dangerous situations and use verbal and passive resistance.

self.defense

"The biggest thing is isolation and uninterrupted time," McBride said. "For example, you're on a date and the person suggests, 'Why don't we go to my place?' Alter the conditions or evade the situation."

He also teaches physical resistance that relies on leverage rather than strength.

Though the techniques are simple, few college students take the time to learn. That's why New Jersey is bringing the message of rape prevention to high school students, a program McBride is hoping to take nationwide.

 
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