The First Six Weeks of College are the Red Zone of Vulnerability for Freshmen Coeds
Vigilance Training Is a “Defense Against Assault”
Incoming freshman coeds are considered especially vulnerable to rape and sexual assault during their first 6 weeks of college. This Red Zone of Vulnerability occurs because of unfamiliar surroundings, homesickness, insecurity and the fact that predators prey on the innocence of these young females. They generally don’t know where to safely eat, walk, jog, or even how to get to class. Their support system of friends and familiarity of their surroundings has not been built yet. It is extremely important to overcome or escape this “red zone of vulnerability”, considering the vast majority of reported sexual assaults on college campuses happen to freshmen.
The best defense against the Red Zone of Vulnerability is the safety net of vigilance! The Senior Partner of The Vigilance Group, Michael “Moose” Moore, defines Vigilance as “recognizing any unusual behavior that does not fit the context of the environment”. What is significant about this definition for new college coeds, is they don’t know their new environment and consequently don’t recognize suspicious or unusual behavior! What can be done?
Some safe guards in a new or unusual environment include learning new vigilant skills which The Vigilance Group defines as a “learned behavior”. The following is an overview of the lessons that we think are the basis of escaping the Red Zone of Vulnerability. We describe these lessons as the Three A’s of Vigilance. Awareness, Avoidance and Action. The Vigilance Group defines each category with the following bullets:
- Awareness – you have the right and permission not to be a victim
- Avoidance – the only way to avoid a crime of opportunity, is to remove the opportunity
- Action – understanding the actions necessary to live safely in a dangerous world
“Our world has simply become a more evil and dangerous place to live,” says Lieutenant Colonel Michael Moore, a retired U.S. Air Force Fighter Pilot with a 20 year military service record. “I’m not a psychologist or counselor, so I don’t focus on ‘why’ this has happened, but on how to avoid danger,” explains Moore. “As parents we raise our daughters to be lambs and gentle spirits, because this is how we were raised. We give them cars to drive, freedom to explore and then send them off to college and expect them to survive,” he says. “The threat is always there and they are extremely vulnerable unless someone teaches them how to be vigilant.”