MinimizingRisk

Tips for reducing the risk of sexual violence

  • Know your boundaries and express them assertively and clearly.
  • Trust your instincts.  If you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation.
  • Know your limits when using alcohol and other drugs.
  • Prior to going out at night, determine your plan for your return home.  let someone know where you're going when you leave.
  • Go out in groups and do not leave a group member alone at a party or bar.
  • Never leave your drink unattended or drink from an open container or punch bowl.
  • Try not to walk alone at night.  If you must walk alone, walk in well-lit areas.

Communication

  • Communicate your sexual desires and limits clearly. 
  • If you feel uncomfortable about a behavior, someone is crossing your boundaries. 
  • Verbal cues are the most direct way to let someone know your limits.
  • Be assertive and direct.  Forget about being nice if you feel threatened.  You have the right to protect yourself.
  • Say what you are thinking, what you really want.
  • Be an active partner in relationships and share decisions about what to do, where to meet and when to be intimate.
  • Never take silence as consent.  If you feel you are getting double messages, speak up and ask for clarification.
  • Accept a person's decision.  Respect the word "no."

Assessment

  • Trust your instincts.  If you feel uncomfortable or think you may be at risk, leave the situation immediately and go to a safe place.
  • Exercise caution when dating.   Have first dates in public places.  Let someone know where you are going and when you will return.  Try to provide your own transportation.
  • Avoid anyone who puts you down, talks negatively about women in general, is physically violent or does not respect you or your decisions.
  • Do not assume that a person wants to have sex just because they are drinking heavily, dressed in a particular manner, or agrees to go home with you. 
  • Do not assume that if a person agrees to kissing or other sexual intimacies, that they are also willing to have sexual intercourse.
  • Know your limits when using alcohol or other drugs.