The red Zone

The most likely time for a college student to be a victim of violent crime or experience an unwanted sexual encounter is during the first 6 weeks of their first year. Inexperience, distraction, exposure to a new environment, and an unfamiliarity of potential risks are all contributing factors to the danger.

We call this period of time for freshmen students the "Red Zone."

We believe that an informed and educated student body makes our campus safer and benefits everyone in the UNCW community. CARE, UNCW's resource for healthy relationships and violence prevention, has developed the following recommendations for in-coming students' safety:

Tips for keeping Yourself Safe in College

  • Be Prepared
    • Know your boundaries and know your friends' boundaries before you go out
    • Plan how you'll respond if someone makes you or your friends uncomfortable
    • When going out, make sure to have taxi numbers and cash to cover the fare (or plan ahead and purchase Safe Ride tickets from Sharky's)
    • Sign up for a RAD self-defense class through the UNCW Police Department
  • Look out for Each Other
    • Get to know who you can count on
    • Use the "buddy system": if you go out together, be sure to come home together
    • Look for signs of incapacitation
    • Help your friends make good decisions
    • If you see someone in an uncomfortable situation, do something. Remember the 3 D's: distract, delegate, or directly intervene to help someone out of a difficult spot
  • Trust Your Intuition
  • Know your red flags! Beware someone who is:
    • …encouraging excessive drinking
    • …attempting to isolate another person
    • …overly nice/charming and testing boundaries in small ways during early interactions
    • …offering to take care of someone the individual doesn't know well
  • If a situation seems sketchy, leave (preferably with friends)
  • Alcohol impairs your intuition - limit your drinking so you can stay in control

UNCW takes sexual assault very seriously; when staff or faculty become aware of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct, a mandatory administrative investigation will ensue. There are three resources on campus that will not have to report: the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, and CARE. Visit for more information on how to keep yourself and others safe or to become a CARE Peer Educator or My Stand Mentor.