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College classes are back in session, but the number one lesson schools want taught is safety

With the rise of social media apps, many students are posting anonymously about sexual assault.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Cramming for exams or sleeping in is part of the college experience. It gives young adults a new taste of freedom.

Freedom that can lead to trouble for students, and according to some statistics, women between the age of 18-24 are three times as likely to experience sexual assault.

Abilene Christian University Police Chief Jimmy Ellison has served the campus for 20 years, and the number one lesson he teaches is safety.

"We want to recognize that they are young adults, and they are away from home for the first time," Ellison said. "We try to split a good balance between helping them understand what's expected of them and help them understand what the ramifications are if they do violate the law."

In his 20 years, Ellison has seen it all, and as the times change so does how he and his team work with the students of ACU.

With the rise of social media many Twitter accounts are popping up such as UFsurivor and TexasSurvivors. These accounts allow students to remain anonymous, and share their experience dealing with sexual assault with others.

Ellison does respect these social media accounts because it gives these students a platform to not feel alone. However, he and his team want the entire student body to know the ACU police are here for them.

"Providing 24-hour police protection, vehicle patrol, foot patrol, bike patrol and we are available for escorts," Ellison said. “If a girl doesn't feel safe walking from point A to point B late at night, they can call and get an escort."

Angelo State University has its own resources students can go to for help.

On the school website, there are sexual assault prevention guides along with the ASU crisis hotline to call. College is a once and lifetime experience, and it is an experience Ellison wants to be memorable for the students not just at ACU but everywhere.

"I just make sure that all college students know that we have a job to do here, and that is to provide you with a safe environment to live and learn in," Ellison said.

Ellison's last piece of advice extends to everyone not just in West Texas, which is if you see something to always say something.