Sexual Assault Prevention
How can I protect myself from being the victim of sexual assault ?
- Be aware of your surroundings. Know what's going on around you.
- Walk with confidence and purpose.
- Don't let drugs or alcohol cloud your judgment.
- Trust your instincts. If it feels uncomfortable or uneasy, get out.
- Be clear with men/women in your life about what your limits are.
- Always watch your drinks and never take a drink you did not see poured.
- If you chose to drink, then know your limits. Alcohol is still the number one date rape drug.
- Meet first dates in public places and make alternate transportation arrangements
- Don't be embarrassed to make a scene, you know what's best for you.
- Always lock your doors.
- Never open the door to a stranger.
- Watch your keys, don't lend them out. Don't have your ID or address on the key chain.
- Use the Xavier Shuttle when it is available
What Men Want Women to Know
- They are afraid of being rejected and don't like to always have to initiate sex.
- They don't like to feel as if they have to go as far as women will let them.
- Sex is not the most important part of a relationship.
- They want friendships with women.
What Women Want Men to Know
- They would like to initiate dates without being labeled as easy or fast.
- They are afraid of hurting men's feelings.
- They may enjoy sexual contact hugging, kissing, etc. but may not want intercourse.
- They don't like always being the one who says when to stop.
- They want friendships with men.
12 Myths that Contribute to Date Rape
- At a certain point a man cannot stop.
- When a women says "NO" it means "CONVINCE" me.
- When a women teases a man it is acceptable to force a woman to have sex.
- Unless a women resists it is not rape.
- It is not rape when a women is drunk or passed out.
- The way a women dresses is a sign she wants to be raped.
- If a women had sex with the person before it cannot be rape.
- If a women did not take precautions it can't be rape.
- If a women agrees then changes her mind it's not rape.
- If a guy or girl is too drunk to know what he or she is doing, it's not rape.
- All rapists know that their actions are defined as rape.
- Rape does not affect men.
Dater's Bill of Rights
- I have the right to refuse a date without feeling guilty.
- I can ask for a date without feeling rejected or inadequate if the answer is no.
- I do not have to act macho.
- I may choose not to act seductively.
- If I don't want physical closeness, I have the right to say "no".
- I have the right to start a relationship slowly, to say, " I want to know you better before I become involved."
- I have the right to be myself without changing to suit others.
- I have the right to change a relationship when my feelings change. I can say, "We used to be close, but I want something else now."
- If I am told a relationship is changing, I have the right not to blame or change myself to keep it going.
- I have the right to an equal relationship with my partner.
- I have the right not to dominate or be dominated.
- I have the right to act one way with one person and a different way with someone else.
- I have the right to change my goals whenever I want to.
Date rape on college campuses
Although you may not be personally involved in a sexually violent situation, chances are someone you know may be. The growing attention by the news media to rape is not due to an increased incidence of the crime, but rather to a greater willingness to talk about it. The purpose of this publication is to address the subject of acquaintance rape -- a problem which is becoming frighteningly evident on college campuses. We will define acquaintance rape, offer suggestions on how to avoid it, and give information on how to help a victim. Rape is not just a problem for women. Men and women must work together to bring about the changes in our society needed to end sexual violence.
Types of Rape
People who are forced to have sexual contact against their will are victims of sexual assault. If the assault involves penetration, it is rape. Two types of rape are: Acquaintance Rape- rape by someone the victim knows. (This type of rape occurs most often.) Stranger Rape- rape by someone unknown to the victim. (This is the type you tend to hear about in the news.)
The information provided here about contributing factors, strategies for prevention, and effects on those involved applies to all forms of sexual assault, from verbal abuse to rape. No matter what the situation, sexual assault is never the victim's fault. Even if the victim and assailant are romantically involved, a crime has been committed.
Why Does Rape Happen?
- Sex Role Stereotypes: Women are expected to be passive and men are expected to be aggressive. Thus, according to stereotypes, it is a man's place to take sex from a woman. Also, many women do not feel they have the right to refuse sex.
- Poor Communications: Rape can happen when two people have different expectations and desires. For example, the man may think the woman is playing hard to get when she really means no.
- Learned Violence: Men are conditioned that aggression is one way to solve a problem.
Rape is NOT a result of uncontrolled sexual desire. It is violence committed through sexual means.
Our Rights and Responsibilities
Rights of women and men in a relationship- Everyone has the right to...
dress as she/he pleases, choose when and with whom to have sex, and to
be treated with respect.
According to a Nationwide Survey conducted by Ms. Magazine:
- 52 percent of college women have experienced sexual assault
- One in eight women has been a victim of rape by legal definition. Of these women:
75 percent did not identify the experience as rape
47 percent were raped on first or casual dates
33 percent did not discuss the experience with anyone
90 percent did not report the rape to the police
- One in twelve men admitted to having fulfilled the prevailing legal definition of rape or attempted rape, yet virtually non of these men identified themselves as rapists.
Responsibilities of men and women- Everyone should... communicate expectations about sex always respect the wishes of others and be clear and assertive about choices
How to Reduce the Possibility of Acquaintance Rape
There are no definite rules to avoid becoming a victim of acquaintance rape. If expectations and feelings about sex are clearly communicated, the rape situations are less likely to happen. Here are some suggestions that will help clarify relationships.
Be assertive. Express your expectations and feelings clearly. Stand up for your rights without violating those of others.
Communicate clearly. Realize that it takes effort for two people to understand each other.
Make and declare your choices about sex. Know before a situation arises how much sex you and your partner find comfortable... Never use sex as a weapon for power or control.
Take responsibility. Say YES if you mean YES and NO if you mean NO ... and know the difference.
Be aware of situations that could lead to rape.
Before you end up in a situation where you are vulnerable, think about your alternatives.
Action Men and Women Can Take to Reduce the Incidence of Rape.
Do not confuse friendliness with sexual invitation. Try to improve the clarity of your relationships. Voice your needs and feelings, but realize you do not have the right to take away the freedom of choice.
Recognize and confront misunderstandings about rape. Silence can mean consent, so SPEAK UP! Don't let others perpetuate myths about rape. Rape is a criminal act of power and control over another acted out through sexual violence. Explain how comments like "she asked for it" and "he couldn't't stop himself" support a society that condones rape.
Begin to understand how media images have shaped your attitudes about sexuality. Images of women and children as objects lead to deformed view of sexual relationships. Instead, develop a vibrant, healthy sexuality that is based on mutual respect, not violence or power over another.
Confront sexual stereotypes. Men and women each posses masculine and feminine traits. People who violate stereotypical roles by not expressing strictly masculine or feminine behaviors are often ridiculed and even attacked. Sexism and homophobia have their roots in the ridicule.
Be alert to anyone who may be suffering a verbal or physical assault. Confront a potential rape scene by moving toward it, interrupting with questions and physical intervention. Your involvement makes the violence visible and may give the victim a chance to escape. Do not expect the victim to trust you any more than the assailant. Contact the police immediately.
Realize that women have ample reason to consider every man a potential rapist. A woman's well-founded caution early in a relationship and open communication can prevent sexual assault by the man. He can realize this and take the initiative to develop trust by, for example, suggesting a public place for dates rather than his place.
Join others in action against rape culture. Men and women must work together and independently to bring about the cultural changes needed to eliminate sexual assault and violence.