Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Whether you’re embarking on your first semester of campus life or returning for your fifth year, before you get the back to school party started take a few minutes to read eight things every student can do to better protect themselves from sexual violence and help reduce the number of sexual assaults on campus.

1. Trust your intuition; it’s your best defense. If you don’t trust someone or something there’s probably a reason. Listening to you inner voice can save your life.

2. Be prepared. Program any numbers that could aid you (or a friend) in a crisis or potential crisis into your cell phone in advance such as the counseling center, campus advocate, campus police, women’s center, resident assistant, etc.

3. Communicate. Have candid discussions with your roommates and friends about supporting one another, respecting your individual choices and keeping each other safe.

4. Express yourself. Be honest with your partner(s) about one another’s personal boundaries and know that it’s okay if they change.

5. Just 2 it. There’s nothing wrong with calling for back up. If you don’t feel comfortable walking alone ask a friend to join you or call a campus escort.

6. Use a DSP. If you choose to drink always have a trusted DSP (designated sober person). Discuss your boundaries and plans for the night in advance and stick with them.

7. Just say no. Do not have sex while you or your partner(s) are under the influence. Having sex with someone who cannot resist or say "no" because the person is drugged, drunk, passed out, unconscious, or asleep may be sexual assault

8. Speak up. One voice has power. If you uncover opportunities that could improve your campus/ community safety, speak up.

While there are things everyone can do to be proactive and make safety a priority it’s important to remember that no matter the circumstance sexual assault is never the survivors fault.

Helpful Vocabulary

Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact such as sexual touching or fondling that occurs without consent. This may or may not include sexual intercourse as some states use this term interchangeably with rape.

Date rape or acquaintance rape is generally defined as forcible sexual contact by someone known to the victim (a friend, date, acquaintance, etc.).

Drug-facilitated sexual assault is generally used to define situations in which victims are subjected to nonconsensual sexual acts while they are incapacitated or unconscious due to the effects of alcohol and/or other drugs and are therefore, prevented from resisting and/or are unable to give consent.

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