Help Prevent Sexual Assault

 

Brown University students share their stories and offer suggestions on how we can all do something to help prevent sexual assaults and promote safe communities.

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What can be done to minimize the risk of sexual assault?

Sexual assault and rape can happen to anyone at anytime. Perpetrators, not survivors, are responsible for sexual assaults. Only a perpetrator can prevent a sexual assault, but we can all take steps to reduce the risk. Some prevention strategies for everyone include:

Look out for the safety of friends.

  • When going to a party with friends, keep track of each other while you're there. Plan to leave together and don't let anyone leave alone.
  • If a friend decides to leave a party with someone else, talk to them about their safety. If you are worried about someone, it's ok to try to protect them from harm.
  • If someone seems highly intoxicated, call Brown Emergency Services at 401.863-4111.
  • Learn more about sexual assault and rape and how to help a friend who may have been assaulted.
  • If a friend discloses to you that they have been sexually assaulted, don't take it all on yourself. Use Brown or off campus resources for advice and support for your friend and for yourself.

Respect the rights of others.

  • Listen to the messages your partner is giving. Be sensitive to both verbal and nonverbal communication. Ask. Double check that you both are doing what you want.
  • The absence of the word "no" does not constitute consent. Make sure you have consent by asking your partner what they want to do. If your partner seems confused or unsure, it's time to stop.
  • Remember that having done something sexual previously is not a blanket "yes" for the future.
  • Remember that your partner can change "yes" to "no" at any time. Respect their choice.
  • Know which behaviors constitute rape and sexual assault, and understand that most incidents happen between people who know each other.
  • If you choose to drink, be responsible. Alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk of sexual assault.
  • Never slip anyone any type of drug. Not only is this illegal, but you don't know what effect a drug can have on someone.

Increase your safety.

  • Think about what you really want from a partner before a possibly uncomfortable or dangerous situation occurs.
  • Communicate clearly. You have the right to say "no" or "I'm not sure."
  • Go to a party with friends, not alone. Keep track of your friends and leave with them. Don't leave alone or with someone you don't know well.
  • If you choose to drink, be careful. Offenders often take advantage of people who have been drinking..
  • Know what's in your drink, whether it's non-alcoholic or contains alcohol. Open the can yourself, make your drink yourself or watch it being made, and don't leave your drink unattended. Avoid punch bowls-- there is no way to know how much alcohol is in them, and since date rape drugs are odorless, colorless and tasteless they can be added to punch without anyone knowing. Date rape drugs can cause dizziness, disorientation, loss of inhibition, blackouts, and loss of consciousness. If you feel any strange symptoms, tell someone you trust right away. Follow this link for more information on date rape drugs.
  • Know which behaviors constitute sexual assault and rape. Understand that most incidents occur between people who know each other.
  • If something happens, it wasn't your fault. You have the right to get anonymous or confidential support from resources on campus and off campus.

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