Safety Tips

Abusive Relationship Warning Signs:

  • Your partner is jealous and possessive towards you.
  • Your partner tries to control you by being bossy and never considers your opinions.
  • Your partner scares you, making you afraid of how s/he will react to things you do or say.
  • Your partner has a quick temper and history of violence towards others.
  • Your partner pressures you into doing things that you do not want to do, such as having sex or breaking the law.
  • Your partner abuses illegal drugs and alcohol.
  • Your partner blames you for their problems, including those they brought upon themselves.
  • Your partner has a history of bad relationships.
  • Your partner believes that in relationships men should take the lead and women should follow.
  • Your family and friends have warned you about your partner or told you that they are worried for your safety.
  • Relationship violence includes emotional, physical, and verbal abuse.
  • Both men and women can be victims or perpetrators of relationship violence.
  • Same sex relationships can also include emotional, physical, and/or verbal abuse.

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Reducing your risk for sexual assault:

  • Always use the buddy system, especially when going to parties or other events on or off campus.
  • Use Western's personal safety escorts, or "Green Coats", who provide safety services on campus. They are available between 4 pm to 8 am to walk with you or drive you to any location on campus.
  • Communicate your wants early. Know what your limits are for both alcohol and sex before going to a party or bar.
  • Be assertive about communicating what you want from another person. Ask the person you are with to do the same.
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation feel uncomfortable for you, there is probably a good reason.
  • Be aware of the effects of alcohol on your body. Alcohol interrupts the ability to make sound decisions and impairs your ability to communicate clearly.
  • Do not leave your drink unattended, especially at a bar or a party.
  • Avoid being alone with an unfamiliar person, especially when alcohol is involved. If you are alone, make sure that your friends know where you are and how long you'll be gone.
  • When on a date with someone new, make sure that you are responsible for your own transportation. It is always safer to meet someone than to rely on an unfamiliar person for a ride.
  • Take a self-defense class. This may increase your confidence to be assertive in uncomfortable situations. Both men and women can be the victim or perpetrator of sexual violence.

If you are sexually assaulted or involved in an abusive relationship, know that it isn't your fault. Perpetrators are responsible for committing the crime and need to be held accountable for their actions.
Source: Adapted from Crime and Sexual Assault Services (CASAS) website, Student Affairs, WWU

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Page Updated 06.03.2013