Staying Safe

Sexual misconduct is never the fault of the victim in any way. Failure to do any of the following does not change the fact that only perpetrators are to blame for sexual misconduct. 

  • Sex is best when there is mutual trust, understanding, and care.
  • Communicate your limits and boundaries with your partner early and often.
  • Recognize perpetrator behavior
    • Perpetrators often use alcohol or drugs to lower inhibitions, reduce resistance, and obtain sex. This is the most common tactic used by perpetrators in the college setting. Be aware of your own consumption, and be wary of others who are pressuring or repeatedly encouraging you to drink.
    • Perpetrators often try to move their intended target away from friends and others to an isolated space (for example, a back bedroom.)
    • Perpetrators often assume consent and do not ask.
    • Perpetrators often attempt to cross boundaries that have been set. For example, if someone says they do not want to drink, the perpetrator will repeatedly offer or pressure. This also occurs with personal space and physical boundaries, like continuing to touch or tease despite being asked to stop.
    • Perpetrators often target individuals who avoid conflict because they do not want to make a scene, draw attention, or upset others. So if you are uncomfortable at any time, speak up, leave the situation, call someone, or reach out for help from someone nearby. Others may be waiting for a signal from you that you are not okay. 
    • Straight male perpetrators often have aggressive beliefs about gender and sex. They feel that women are unequal, that women owe them sex and should be grateful for their advances. Jokes about rape (for example, that women are “asking for it”) or these types of beliefs are often a sign of this hyper-masculine attitude.
  • Be with friends that you trust to look out for you, and look out for them.  

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