5 Tips to Help College Freshmen Stay Safe

As the school year begins, a former police officer provides some tips to INSIDE EDITION for staying safe.

As college students start the school year, they should be aware of the 'Red Zone' - a time when incoming freshmen are most vulnerable to becoming victims of sexual assault.

The 'Red Zone' stretches from the start of the college year to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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So what can freshmen do to stay safe?

Former police officer and self defense expert Steve Kardian provided these tips while teaching a class in West Islip, New York.

1. Don't be too trusting

"You're a little bit too young, you're a little bit too trusting and you haven't dealt or developed the tactics to deal with the predator," he said.

2. Don't drink to excess

Attackers are ultimately the ones responsible for sexual assaults, but students need to remain in a condition where they can be responsible for themselves.

Kardian says alcohol is a factor in 90 percent of college rapes.

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3. Use the buddy system

Don't leave any friend behind. Stay in touch with friends throughout the night and do not walk home alone.

4. Get involved if you see someone in a potentially dangerous situation

Kardian said: “Merely stepping in and saying, ‘Is everything ok? Is there anything I can do to help?’ changes the dynamic of that encounter and often it will break it up.”

5. As a last resort, fight back

Kardian showed a group of women some simple moves to get out of a dire situation, including being held down. The moves can be seen in the video above.

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