Female student sexually assaulted in dorm room

Boston University WikiMedia

Boston University
WikiMedia

 Fox Boston News recently reported that Boston University Police are investigating a sexual assault in a dorm room from early Sunday morning. A female student told police that an unknown man entered her dorm room in Student Village II around 2:30 a.m. and sexually assaulted her. The suspect is described as a college-age white male around 5’8” tall with a medium build and dark hair. He was reportedly wearing a button down long sleeve shirt and a down vest. Boston University police are asking students to make sure their rooms are locked at all times and report any suspicious activity.

Take a moment and read the following tips from University of Georgia police:

Although on-campus housing is often your best bet as far as safety and security are concerned, many students prefer to find off-campus housing. When looking into rental properties there are a few very basic safety features and policies which you should consider before signing a lease.

1. Doors should be made of metal or solid wood construction. Good deadbolt locks and peepholes are also a must.

2. Make sure the management changes locks or permits the tenant to change them when moving in.

3. Sliding glass doors should be secured with pins through the frame or have a “charlie bar” locking device.

4. Apartments located on the second floor, or higher, are safer. Being on the ground floor makes entry through windows easy. Ground floor windows should be secured with pins through the frame or key lock latches.

5. Hallways and stairwells should be well lit at night. Mirrors to help you see around hallway corners are also important.

6. Bushes and shrubbery should be well maintained and cut back below window height to reduce the risk of attackers hiding in them.

7. Is access to the complex limited to residents and guests?

8. Is there on-sight security? Is there a neighborhood watch program?

9. Have there been any burglaries in the complex, and if so, how did the burglars gain entry?

10. Ask management about the availability of extra keys to your apartment. If there are extra keys, ask how they are secured and who has access to them.

11. Ensure parking areas are well lit at night and afford a clear line of sight to your apartment door.

12. Ask management if they have a policy against installing intrusion alarms in individual apartments. If not, installation of a simple alarm system might be a good option for additional security at a relatively low expense.

Keep in mind that looks can be deceiving. Just because a complex is new does not mean that it is safe. Look closely at the apartments you are considering. If they don’t have the majority of the safety features listed above you should probably keep looking. When it come to your safety you should not compromise.

Although these tips are geared towards students living in dorms, these tips are also useful for women living in apartment or condos alone. What habits do you have to protect yourself when entering your home?

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