CORRECTION: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs says that the original page in question published on their website was published in 2006, not 2013, although it had an update date of Feb. 18, 2013 and went viral on Monday. The original "10 tips" that went viral and were the subject of the original story have been taken down by the university and instead replaced with "Crime Prevention Tips" along with this update to clear up any confusion:
Update - February 19, 2013
- The recent circulation of this web page containing information about rape prevention at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs was taken out of context on popular social media sites.
- No policy was changed by the university and no advisories were sent to students.
- This page is not related to the gun control discussions now taking place in the Colorado General Assembly.
- This page was created in 2006 as supplemental material for women who had completed an internationally recognized Rape Aggression Defense course offered free of charge to UCCS students.
- The 10 tips were considered last resort options when all other defense methods have been exhausted.
- This site was intended as a reminder for graduates of the RAD program, an intensive self defense program, and part of a larger discussion of last-resort tactics.
- As a response to recent interest in the page, the Department of Public Safety has updated this page to provide additional context and information about crime prevention and the opportunity to enroll in the RAD class.
- We apologize for the miscommunication and any confusion that this page may have caused.
The ten tips have been removed. We apologize for the miscommunication and any confusion that this page may have caused.
Original story appears below:
On Monday, when the Colorado House passed a series of gun bills, including House Bill 1226 -- which bans concealed-carry firearms on college campuses in the state -- the Colorado Springs campus of University of Colorado updated their public safety page with some eyebrow raising tips for women who may be attacked.
CU-Colorado Springs Department of Public Safety page was updated at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, with the following 10 tips:
What To Do If You Are Attacked
These tips are designed to help you protect yourself on campus, in town, at your home, or while you travel. These are preventative tips and are designed to instruct you in crime prevention tactics.
- Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.
- Your instinct may be to scream, go ahead! It may startle your attacker and give you an opportunity to run away.
- Kick off your shoes if you have time and can't run in them.
- Don't take time to look back; just get away.
- If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense.
- Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.
- Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.
- Yelling, hitting or biting may give you a chance to escape, do it!
- Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.
- Remember, every emergency situation is different. Only you can decide which action is most appropriate.
Some of the tips like telling "your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating" and "vomiting or urinating" to convince the attacker to leave you alone left many on Twitter puzzled and a new hashtag was born -- #UCCSTips -- offering less serious tips as well as criticisms aimed at the passage of HB-1226:
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) February 18, 2013
Is it me, or is tip #9 from the #UCCSTips blame the victim for the rape? "Understand that some actions on your part may lead to more harm"
— Conservative First (@l4issez) February 19, 2013
— Marybeth(@MBGlenn) February 19, 2013
Simply declare campuses are rape-free zones. Be sure to post signs. Problem solved. #UCCSTips
— Tom Pinkerton (@PinkertonTom) February 19, 2013
— Rob Rodgers (@robn_rodgers) February 19, 2013
— Frank M Davis, JR (@FrankMDavisJR) February 19, 2013
These 10 tips that University of Colorado offers to campus women is part of a training class that the college offers called the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class which UCCS describes as:
Rape Aggression Defense Systems (RAD Systems) is a hands-on, women only self defense and risk reduction education program designed to teach women realistic ways to defend and protect oneself from sexual and abductive assaults. RAD is an international organization of certified law enforcement instructors.
The next RAD class that UCCS was offering in the Spring semester appears to be cancelled.
This is the second viral story to emerge over the passage of the controversial HB-1226 firearm ban in college campus buildings. Friday testimony from Rep. Joe Salazar has also gone viral during which the lawmaker said:
It's why we have call boxes. It's why we have safe zones. That's why we have the whistles, because you just don't know who you're going to be shooting at. And you don't know if you feel like you're going to be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around or if you feel like you're in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop... pop a round at somebody.
Fox31 reports that Republicans were quick to respond to the comment on the House floor. "I'm sorry, a whistle and a call box are not going to help that woman on campus," Rep. Polly Lawrence (R-Littleton) said.
Rep. Lori Saine (R-Dacono) also confronted Salazar over his remark saying, "My daughter’s going to be going off to college in about 10 years. I can’t imagine her only option’s going to be to outrun her attacker to a call box. I think she’s going to be responsible enough to handle a gun."
On Monday the lawmaker issued a formal apology about the statement, The Denver Post reported:
We were having a public policy debate on whether or not guns makes people safer on campus. I don't believe they do. That was the point I was trying to make. If anyone thinks I'm not sensitive to the dangers women face, they're wrong. I am a husband and father of two beautiful girls, and I've spent the last decade defending women's rights as a civil rights attorney.
Fellow Democrat, House Speaker Mark Farrandino, came to Salazar's defense in a written statement. "Whatever his words may have been and however much those words are being taken out of context, he did the right thing to take responsibility. I was there for the entire debate, and the overall point I understood him to be making is that guns on campus don't mean you're more safe."
HB-1226 passed the House on Monday and now heads to the state Senate where it is expected to pass along with three other gun control measures.