Sexual Assault - Your Role in Staying Safe

  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs, as they interfere with clear thinking, effective communication and your ability to respond in your own best interest.
  • Say "no" when you mean "no." Communicate your limits clearly. Say "yes" only when you mean "yes." Know what you are feeling and express yourself clearly. Accept a person's decision.  Be assertive. Submissive behavior can encourage sexual aggression. Passivity might be misinterpreted as permission. Be direct and firm with someone who is pressuring you sexually. If someone starts to offend you, respond promptly and firmly. Overly polite approaches might be misunderstood or ignored.
  • Pay attention to what is happening around you. Attend large parties with friends you can trust and agree to look out for one another. If you feel threatened, don't be embarrassed to ask for help or to leave.
  • Trust your intuition. If you feel you are being pressured into unwanted sexual relations, don't hesitate to express your unwillingness, even if it might appear rude.
  • Be cautious of or avoid dating someone who displays extreme hostility anger, jealousy, or possessiveness or who pushes you around.
  • Think ahead about getting home. Be prepared when you are away from home to be able to leave a situation if you need to. Coordinate plans with friends and arrange transportation. Always carry enough money for cab fare.
  • "No" means "no". Don't read in other meanings.
  • Don't assume that previous permission for sexual relations means a person is under a continuing obligation to have sex with you.
  • Don't assume your date wants the same degree of intimacy as you.
  • Don't make statements that imply forced sexual demands.
  • Don't allow others to attempt forced sex with another person.
  • Remember: People who have been sexually traumatized carry this pain with them for the rest of their lives.
 
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