Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Have You Had the Talk?

Millions of college students have already moved in to their dorms and apartments for the school year. Parents who still want to start a conversation about how to stay safe can direct their student to RAINN - the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. There are several helpful tips to educate your student on how to be safe on campus, and provides resources on where to go if they need someone to talk to. We've included a link to the article, but the tips are listed here as well:

According to RAINN, by talking about this topic now, you can better equip your child to navigate social situations on campus, and intervene if necessary to keep their friends safe. Here are some tips on how approach the conversation with your teen:
Start the conversation
Use the high-profile news coverage of college sexual assault to start a dialogue. A case making local news in your community or Congress’ recent legislative action could be a good starting point.
→ Ask what they think about the case and how it could relate to their experience on campus.
Talk about real risks, not myths
Arm your college-bound kid with information about the reality of sexual assaults. For instance, many people are surprised to learn the majority of these kinds of crimes are committed by someone the victim knows, like a classmate or friend — not by a stranger hiding on campus.
→ Reinforce the fact that a sexual assault is never the fault of the victim.
Offer your vote of confidence
Encourage them to trust their instincts. Just because they are in a new place doesn’t mean they’re a new person. If a situation feels uncomfortable or dangerous, encourage your teen to find a way to get out.
→ It’s better to lie and make up an excuse for why they need to leave, rather than stay and be uncomfortable.
College is a great opportunity to establish new friendships. Remind your child that while it’s important to fit in and make friends, it’s just as important to keep an eye on things. If they see someone doing something that's not right or dangerous, they can subtly step in to help a friend in need, such as by redirecting a conversation or suggesting their friend join them outside.
→ Remind them of previous times they stood up for themselves or others.
Get consent
Talk to your college-bound student about obtaining permission before engaging in sexual activity. Not only is rape a criminal offense, but it can also result in serious harm to the victim for years to come.
→ Encourage them to think twice before having sex with someone who can’t verbally consent.
Identify campus resources and support systems
Ask your child if he or she knows where to go on campus if in need of help. For instance, do they know where to go for medical care, for academic support, or where to report a crime? Encourage them to build relationships with peers and administrators in support roles, such as the dorm resident advisor or a trusted professor.
→ Make sure your child knows about key resources on campus, such as Student Affairs or the Health & Wellness Center, as well as their locations.
Establish an open line of communication 
Whether your child commutes to school from your house or lives thousands of miles away, remind him or her that you are there during the transition. Let them know that if something happens, they can tell you, no matter what the circumstances.
→ Remind your teen that you’re an ally.

If you or someone you know is struggling with on-campus sexual violence, you are not alone. Help is available 24/7 via the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and

SABRE is proud to share these tips from our partner RAINN!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

ABC 7 Interviews SABRE for Back to Campus Safety Tips

Chicago, IL -Millions of students are headed back to campus, many moving into dorm rooms away from Mom and Dad for the first time. These experiences can be overwhelming, and personal safety often slips through the cracks. But according to the numbers it needs to be made a priority. 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted during their time on campus, and more than 10,000 students will be victims of aggravated assaults or robberies. 

Personal Safety Expert and SABRE CEO David Nance appeared on ABC 7 - Chicago's #1 Morning show to share tips on how students can try to be safer while on campus. 

  • The first two months of college, September and October, are typically referred to as the Red Zone by law enforcement as that's when many injuries, accidents, and even deaths occur. 
  • Immediately familiarize yourself with your new surroundings - not just your dorm or apartment, but your entire campus. Learn areas that aren't well lit, or areas where there aren't Emergency blue lights to identify places where you are the most vulnerable.
  • More than 50% of intrusions occur on the first floor - so make sure your windows and doors are secure and protected. (Hint hint, Tip #3 below is a good one for this!)
  • Even other students are strangers. Everyone needs to earn your trust. Just because you attend class with someone doesn't mean you can or should open up to them, or keep your dorm room or apartment unlocked. Another good rule: don't keep your doorway propped open or buzz in anyone who rings your unit - it could be someone who shouldn't be there. 
  • Plus, college campuses aren't fenced in - plenty of people especially on urban campuses aren't students and aren't affiliated with the university. Keep your guard up and trust your gut! 

In addition to the tips David shares in the video, here are some more to consider: 

1.) Carry SABRE's Campus Safety Pepper Gel - our most effective SABRE Red formula in gel form means greater containment of the spray - it's not going to become airborne meaning effects on the user and bystanders are minimal.

2.) Bring the College Safety Program to your school to learn techniques on how to identify threats, and tips on how to escape dangerous situations safely.

3.) Use SABRE's Dorm/Apartment Kit to secure the main entry points to your home away from home, and use the personal alarm for protection on the go! The 120 decibel alarms will alert you, the intruder, and your neighbors someone is trying to get inside who isn't welcome. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back to Campus Safety Tips Continue with Self-Defense Strategies

As promised we are continuing to share safety tips with our readers and social media followers for Back to Campus season. But this tip applies to anyone who wants to feel more empowered about their ability to defend themselves in dangerous situations, not just college students.

We think taking a self-defense class is a fun way to socialize with friends, get in a good work out, and learn ways to be safer whether you're on campus walking to class, or on the subway headed home from work.

Our good friend Jennifer Cassetta is an established nutritionist, fitness, and self-defense expert. Cassetta may be practiced in martial arts and has the ability to whip out complicated moves thanks to her years of training, but she provides lots of ways the average person can ward off an attacker.

Last month Jennifer appeared on Pop Sugar Fitness and shared 3 tips she says are easy to master: 

1.) Cross Body Elbow - Cassetta Says using your elbow by striking the attacker across the body or head with your elbow can be effective. Tuck your arm into your body and throw your elbow out!

2.) Knee Strike - Grab onto your attacker and throw your body weight behind a powerful knee strike to the groin area. Cassetta says this is helpful especially if the attacker has approached you from the front. This move will force the attacker's hips backwards.

3.) Side-Knee Kick - Once the attacker is off balance thanks to your knee strike, it's time to give a side-kick to the attacker's knees. If you aim for the knee joint, the attacker will suffer some pain or be pushed even more off balance. These extra seconds the attacker takes for recovery can help you get away. 

Want to get more from Jennifer? Head to her website to see more!

As far as SABRE, we created our Personal Safety Academy for the same reason - to get people in what we call "a safety mindset" and give them ways to defend themselves.

To learn more about the Personal Safety Academy, visit this website. And to invite an expert to your college campus simply visit