It is our responsibility to understand and promote the fact that sexual assault is never excusable or deserved, and most importantly it is never the survivor’s fault. Get some tips on how to help prevent sexual assault.
Know the Definitions:
What is Sexual Assault?
Any type of forced, manipulated, or coerced unwanted sexual content/activity, that occurs without consent. Sexual assault can happen to anyone regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation.
What is Consent?
A voluntary, informed, sober, wanted, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement to engage in sexual activity, when “no” is a present and viable option. Consent cannot be coerced. Consent can never be implied and cannot be assumed. When intoxicated, an individual cannot legally consent to sexual activity.
Statistics and Facts:
- Every 2 minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted and 60% of those assaults go unreported to the police.
- The FBI reports that only 2% of rape reports are given falsely, the same report rate for other felonies.
- 1 in 4 college women will be sexually assaulted.
- On college campuses, most sexual assaults are committed by someone the survivor knows.
- Alcohol is common in many sexual assaults on college campuses.
Ways to Stay Safe at Parties(Minimizing the risk of sexual assault):
- Stay with friends, don’t go alone, be with people you can count and rely on.
- Make a plan before you go to a party. Set up checkpoints, or code words, so you can stay connected with your friends throughout the party.
- Always hold onto your drink – even when you go to the bathroom. If your drink is out of your sight, even for a few seconds, get a new one.
- Don’t accept drinks from just anyone (i.e., those in punch bowls, open containers).
- Avoid parties that charge men but let women enter and drink for free.
- Always keep your cell phone on you.
- Avoid secluded places where you could be vulnerable.
- Make sure to have a plan on how you’ll get home (a designated driver, a friend to walk home with).
- Trust your instincts. If something feels uncomfortable, leave and get to a safe place.
- If you feel pressured, coerced or fearful, protest loudly, leave, and go for help.
Be a Proactive Bystander:
- Be aware of your surroundings and look out for your peers’ safety.
- Recognize when a situation could and/or will escalate.
- Take responsibility and have the confidence to intervene before an incident occurs.