Floridians Reminded Of Sexual Assault Awareness During Spring Break Season

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

As more than 250,000 students hit Florida beaches for 2009 “Spring Break,” the Florida Department of Health (DOH) reminds Floridians that sexual assault is a serious situation affecting students and other individuals of varying ages throughout our state.

"Spring break is a time when some students drink more alcohol and are in unfamiliar environments, both of which can add to the risk of sexual assault," said Annette Phelps, A.R.N.P., M.S.N., DOH Division Director of Family Health Services.

Sexual violence includes any unwanted contact that is sexual in nature. It can include sexual harassment, date rape, stranger rape, marital or partner rape. It can affect people of any gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or ability. Perpetrators of sexual assault can be friends, acquaintances, family members or strangers.

According to the National Institute of Justice, 20-25% of women in college reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape in college. This is a time to focus public attention on the devastating effects of sexual violence and encourage everyone to become better informed about this major public health issue.


The National Crime Prevention Council provides the following tips to minimize the risk of sexual assault:

Be Alert!

* Show that you’re in control—walk with confidence.
* Be aware of your surroundings. Know who’s out there and what’s going on.
* Don’t let alcohol or other drugs fog your judgment.
* Be assertive. Don’t let anyone violate your space.

Trust Your Instincts!

* Uneasy? Uncomfortable? Get Out!
* Don’t be embarrassed to make a scene. You know what’s best for you.