Binghamton University students are learning information that could save their lives. Our Elyse Mickalonis explains how a peer education group has made it a mission to teach other women on campus how to avoid being victims of crime.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- "You never know who is going to be in your building, of course living with college students, predators would love to get in there,” said Nichole Suozzo, a Binghamton University junior.
A group of students from Binghamton University got together at the Iron Works Gym on Tuesday, but not to work out. The girls were from the REACH Peer Education group at Binghamton University. They took part in On Point Self Defense’s The Social Survival and Date Rape Prevention Seminar. Their goal was to take what they learned from the class and educate other women on campus.
"For myself, I will be more aware of my surroundings, have my keys out. Don't sit in my car and just go on my phone. Bring that back to campus, helping people be more aware of their surroundings,” said Nichole Safran, a Binghamton University senior.
Maranda Sanchez, a Binghamton University junior, added, "I feel like I've heard a lot of things about rape, the same tips, but coming here, I've learned a lot more, little things that I'm going to take back and talk about on campus."
The program was offered as a service of the Sexual Assault Response Team Community Education and Outreach Task Force. The hour long session taught women how to avoid becoming a victim, how to combat predatory thinking and more.
"Situational awareness, advanced planning, signs to look for that aren't obvious to the casual observer,” said Randy Monroe, On Point Self Defense Founder.
The free class was open for women ages 15 and up and that's because organizers say they hope to empower women of all ages. Monroe says he developed this course and others in response to classes he felt lacked crucial information.
"I saw different seminars and different courses that gave women just enough information to get themselves hurt badly. The types of techniques they were taught and situations they were introduced to didn't prepare them for real world violence,” said Monroe.
Now armed with the knowledge they need, these women will be able to stay safe in an unpredictable world.
The class was made possible with support from state and local law enforcement, the Crime Victim’s Assistance Center, SUNY Binghamton police and others.
For more information on future classes, email email@example.com.