When you go to college you’re going to voluntarily into an environment of learning and also taking upon yourself and life journey; you’ll never forget. You’re exploring who you are and the things you believe in, which will make you the person you want to be after your graduate. However, in this environment of learning and progression, you can run into characters who are far from friendly and perhaps even wish to do you harm.
Harassment in colleges is not as common as it is in society, but it does exist. If you experience psychological abuse from somebody or perhaps even unwarranted physical contact, there are some procedures and actions you must follow to make sure you’re not suffering alone. Relationships are tricky, no matter who it’s with; your lecturers, friends, sexual partners, etc. However there are certain faux pas lines that must not be crossed, and if they are, situations can become uncomfortable and everyday life at the college, distressing.
The question you must ask yourself, is, are you really being harassed? Some cultures on campus can prey on women who need help or comfort, making them believe that nonchalant experiences are somehow more than what they seem. You should try and talk about a concerning experience you’re having with a fellow student or teacher, to a close friend or family member. Falsely accusing someone can rebound back on you and your credibility can be irreversibly harmed with the potential of being kicked out of the college and prosecuted. If you have expressed your discomfort of a situation to the individual you believe is harassing you, but they persist, this is a clear violation of your personal boundaries; this is one way to know you’re in the right.
There are legal services on campus, which require a full report and although the court at college can take action, they are limited to campus actions only. Meaning, if you have been sexually harassed, the campus can only suspend or expel a teacher or student. This may not have a detrimental effect on their prospects of enrolling or joining another college. For proper legal actions for acts which have violated state or national law, you must contact a professional legal company. Contact someone who is well versed in education and school law, so that a case can be built using thorough investigative methods and charges brought forth on your part in an evidence-based manner. This route may be the only one possible to stop a harasser as experiences can worsen if inadequate action is taken by campus officials which allows the perpetrator to persist.
Never suffer mental abuse from the experience on your own and always seek help. There is usually an on-campus counselor who is there for psychological support. Going through a tormenting ordeal of either physical abuse from bullies or sexual predators can be very harrowing. So before your mind spirals, combat the negative thoughts by talking about it openly. If you cannot find solace with the university, inform your friends and family that you need help. Local authorities may be able to give you the support you need, and through their support, you can see a psychiatrist to help you cope with the stress.