Reducing Your Risk of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a serious concern that affects both women and men. Research shows that rape or attempted rape affects one in six college women at least once during their college years. Approximately 84% of all sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows and 90% of date or acquaintance rapes involve alcohol. Although personal safety can never be guaranteed, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of being the victim--or perpetrator--of sexual assault. Things you can do:
- 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 feels 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 safer to meet up with someone than to rely on an unfamiliar person for a ride.
- Remember: Drunk sex jeopardizes your ability to get and give consent.