What is sexual assault?
- Attempted or completed non-consensual sexual act
- Anal, oral, or vaginal penetration
- Threats of rape
Sexual consent is clear, conscious, voluntary, mutual
- Verbal agreement to engage in sexual activity; silence does not mean "yes"
- Must be given by a sober, conscious individual
- Must be given freely, with no emotional or physical force
- Consent to one act of sex does not mean consent to all acts of sex
Acquaintance rape vs. stranger rape
It might surprise you to know that about 9 out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, not a stranger.
Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., and Turner, M.G., (2000). The Sexual Victimization of College Women (NCJRS Publication No. 182369). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
Take Action to Stop Sexual Violence – we can all step up to challenge community norms and create change.
- Raise awareness about sexual violence.
- Stop sexual violence in its tracks.
- Step Up and do something!
- Challenge sexist norms when you see or hear them.
- Prosecute perpetrators of sexual assault so they cannot easily repeat their crimes. The perpetrator is the only one who can truly prevent sexual assault.
Stop sexual violence in its tracks
The perpetrator is the only one who can truly prevent sexual assault. However, the following actions can help to reduce the risk of victimization.
Recognize situations that may lead to sexual assault:
- Using alcohol as a way to get sex.
- Drugging someone’s drink(s).
- Making someone feel uncomfortable with sexual advances.
- Separating someone from their friends.
- Pressure or threats to coerce another person into sexual acts.
Know or it’s “no.”
Silence does not equal a verbal "yes." Make sure that you have verbal consent before engaging in any sexual acts.
- A person has the right to say no at any point during any sexual act, even if they have consented in the past.
- If your partner says "no" or tells you to stop, stop immediately.
- If your partner doesn’t say anything at all, ask, “Is this okay?” Make sure you know about consent.
Alcohol is the #1 drug used to facilitate sexual violence
- Be aware of the risks associated with alcohol use.
- More than half of completed sexual assaults among college women have been facilitated by alcohol use by the victim, in most cases on a voluntary basis.
- In comparison, about 4% of completed sexual assaults among college women were drug-facilitated.
- Remember—even if the victim has voluntarily consumed alcohol or other drugs, he or she is not responsible for their sexual assault. The perpetrator is to blame.
Krebs, C.K., Lindquist, C.H., Warner, T.D., Fisher, B.S., and Martin, S.L. (2009). College women’s experiences with physically forced, alcohol- or other drug-enabled, and drug-facilitated sexual assault before and since entering college. Journal of American College Health 57(6), 639-647.
Step Up! and do something!
If you experience or observe a situation that could lead to non-consensual sex, do something! Take action to prevent a situation from escalating.
- Talk to your friends about how you would want them to intervene if they notice you are uncomfortable or in a potentially dangerous situation.
- Even someone you know and like can have different sexual intentions than you do. Express your intentions clearly.
- Use your phone to stay in contact with friends through voice, text, Facebook, Twitter and photos.
- Refuse to accept unwanted drinks or to drink alcohol in excess of your limits.
- Call out inappropriate behavior: “Stop,” “I said NO,” “ Leave me alone,” and “Don’t touch me.”
- If you feel uncomfortable with someone’s actions or advances, trust yourself. Leave the situation if you can. Find or call someone you know to help you stay safe.
- Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom. Bring your phone and call a friend to help you leave the situation.
- If you are concerned about your safety, call 911.
Talk to your friends about how they would want you to intervene if you noticed they were in an uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situation. You can:
- Approach the potential victim and perpetrator.
- Calmly say what you see (too much to drink, inappropriate behavior, concern for safety).
- Be honest and direct.
- Avoid using physical or verbal violence.
- If you feel you cannot be direct you can:
- Create a distraction to diffuse the situation.
- Call or text the victim or perpetrator, if you know the number.
- Recruit help from others if you need it.
- If someone is in a dangerous situation, call 911.