The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Department of Public Safety has updated an online statement advising female students to consider a variety of unusual actions if they are attacked, including vomiting, urinating and claiming that they are menstruating.
The advisory was updated Monday evening, just hours after the Colorado state House of Representatives passed a package of gun control bills that includes one that would make it illegal for people with concealed weapons permits to carry guns on the campuses of public universities. The bills still have to go to the state Senate and governor.
Some of the pieces of advice which were updated Monday evening on the university's public safety website are ones that many would find familiar, from running away without looking back to "yelling, hitting or biting" your attacker.
But the following two suggestions are a little stranger and are already causing quite the outcry on social media: "Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating," and "Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone."
These less-conventional methods for fighting off a would-be rapist are apparently part of Rape Aggression Defense Systems, a class that the school's public safety department promotes as a means for female students to boost their self-defense skills.
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But the fact that the site providing the pointers was updated at 6:30 p.m. Monday suggests that the move may have been motivated by the Colorado House's passage on Monday of HB 1226, which would ban all people -- including concealed-weapons permit holders -- from carrying guns on the campuses of the state's public universities.
The House passed the bill on Monday by a vote of 34-31, but not before it became the center of a major controversy when Democratic state Rep. Joe Salazar made comments during Friday's debate arguing that students should not have access to guns to protect themselves from being raped.
“It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles," Salazar said, according to KDVR News. "Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna 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 around at somebody.”
The comments drew the ire of a number of conservative pundits, as well as several Republican Colorado lawmakers who were offended by the insinuation that would-be rape victims should rely on rape whistles and safe zones rather than arm themselves against potential attackers.
Salazar eventually apologized for any offense he may have caused, but he did not back down from his premise that guns are not needed to protect women from attacks on the campuses of Colorado's public universities.
“I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was absolutely not my intention,” Salazar said, according to KDVR News. “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. Again, I’m deeply sorry if I offended anyone with my comments.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic-led Colorado House of Representatives passed the final two gun measures brought to a vote Monday, the Denver Post reported.
After previously passing measures limiting gun magazines to 15 rounds and requiring universal background checks on private firearms purchases, the House approved two more bills: the ban on concealed weapons on public college campuses and a bill requiring gun buyers to pay the cost of their state background checks.
The bills will now go to the state Senate, which is also controlled by Democrats.
The entire text of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Public Safety Department's advisory is posted below:
"Updated message from February 18, 2013 at 6:30pm from the Department of Public Safety:
The ten points of information below were used in a context supplemented with additional information during the in-class training covered in the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class. The R.A.D. class is offered free of charge as a public service to women who are part of the greater UCCS community.
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.
For more information regarding the RAD class, classes scheduled for the spring semester, or any other crime prevention programs, please visit the following pages:
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.
1. Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.
2. Your instinct may be to scream, go ahead! It may startle your attacker and give you an opportunity to run away.
3. Kick off your shoes if you have time and can't run in them.
4. Don't take time to look back; just get away.
5. If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense.
6. Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.
7. Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.
8. Yelling, hitting or biting may give you a chance to escape, do it!
9. Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.
10. Remember, every emergency situation is different. Only you can decide which action is most appropriate."