I remember my parents driving me to my freshman year of college. Their rust colored  Fairmont was packed with everything I’d need from August to May. Dorm fridge, bike, Apple IIe computer with dot matrix printer (no compact laptops or tablets- it was about the size of the dorm fridge), 5 pound dictionary, shorts and tank tops, winter boots and coats…everything! I barely fit in the back seat.I had 8 hours on the ride to D.C. to ponder what college would be like, and if I’d ever be able to stand straight again after being contorted around all my belongings for so long. We sang along with 8-track tapes of the Carpenters and Barry Manilow, talked about what I may have forgotten  and whether I’d be able to resume my waitress job at Hoffman’s Restaurant when I returned in the summer (I’d been there two years and that job was paying for college). We talked about the exciting changes and the importance of doing my very best, but we didn’t talk about:

  • how scary this big change was for me… and for my parents as their only child moved so far away
  • my cat. She was a gorgeous grey Persian who had been my constant  companion since I was 8 years old…and she was decidedly a one person  cat. I wondered how I’d survive without my closet companion and my mom wondered how she’d even get Missy to come to her to be fed (but cats are practical, they’ll tolerate you if you’re the only one who can use the can opener), and 
  • sexual assault.
One in four college women are sexually assaulted during their college years. About 1/3 are freshmen. In fact the period from orientation to Thanksgiving is the Red Zone on campuses.Talk to your daughter or son about sexual assault. Talk to him/her about the correlation between alcohol use and sexual assault. And talk about what the options and resources are after an assault. It’s a difficult topic, but open those lines of communication now. Here’s what you need to know to have that talk.

Related posts:
Whatyou need to know after a sexual assault

Sexual assualt facts