What You Can Do To Help Stop Sexual Misconduct
- Sexual contact requires mutual and Affirmative Consent. An incapacitated person (for example, a person under the influence of drugs or alcohol) may be incapable of giving consent. Whether an intoxicated person (as a result of using alcohol or other drugs) is incapacitated depends on the extent to which the alcohol or other drugs impact the person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments.
- No one deserves to be sexually assaulted, stalked or victimized in any way.
- Don’t engage in any behavior that may be considered Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking or any other form of Sexual Misconduct or violence.
- Never use force, coercion, threats, alcohol or other drugs to engage in sexual activity.
- Take responsibility for your actions.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs.
- Remember “no” means “No!” and “stop” means “Stop!”
- Report incidents of violence (including coercion) to law enforcement and campus authorities.
- Discuss Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking with friends—speak out against non-consensual sex or violence and clear up misconceptions.
- Don’t mistake submission or silence for Affirmative Consent.
What You Can Do To Help Minimize Your Risk of Becoming a Victim
- Be aware. Does your partner: Threaten to hurt you or your children? Say it’s your fault if he or she hits you and then promises it won’t happen again (but it does)? Put you down in public? Force you to have sex when you don’t want to? Follow you? Send you unwanted messages and gifts?
- Be assertive. Speak up.
- Stay sober and watch out for dates and/or anyone who tries to get you drunk or high.
- Clearly communicate limits to partners, friends, and acquaintances.
- Never leave a party with someone you don’t know well and trust.
- Trust your feelings; if it feels wrong, it probably is.
- Learn all you can and talk with your friends. Help them stay safe.
- Report incidents of violence to law enforcement and campus authorities.
What You Can Do If You Are a Victim, in General
- Go to a safe place as soon as possible.
- Preserve evidence.
- Report the incident to University Police or local law enforcement.
- Report the incident to your campus Title IX Coordinator.
- Call/visit the campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocate
- Call a Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking hotline.
- Call a friend or family member for help.
- Know that you are not at fault. You did not cause the abuse to occur and you are not responsible for someone else’s violent behavior.
What can I do in order to help reduce my risk of being a victim of Sexual Misconduct?
Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame and with recognition that only those who commit Sexual Misconduct are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act:
- If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
- Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
- Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
- Find someone nearby and ask for help.
- Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
- Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
- In an emergency, call 9-1-1
What can I do in order to help reduce my risk of being an initiator of Sexual Misconduct?
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk of being accused of sexual misconduct:
- Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
- Understand and respect personal boundaries.
- DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent, about someone’s sexual availability, about whether they are attracted to you, about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.
- Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
- Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves. Incapacitation means a person is unable to give valid consent.
- Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don’t abuse that power.
- Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
- Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.