When first dating someone, consider meeting in a public place and avoid being alone until you have gotten to know one another.
When you are ready to go out or to a party, have a plan. Know where you are going, who you are going with, and how much you plan on drinking.
Before you and your partner start drinking, have a conversation about your limits, and what do and do not want to do later that night. When you are intoxicated, it can be hard to judge a situation. Rather than run the risk of crossing a line, know where you and your partner stand before you drink.
Always watch your drink being prepared, or if you can, prepare all of your drinks yourself. If you lose sight of your drink, get a new one—that way you know what is in it and how much alcohol you are consuming. Eighty percent of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol, and overconsuming can be risky.
Accepting a drink from someone you don’t know can be risky. A lot of date rape drugs are undetectable when mixed with alcohol. They can be flavorless.
Stay with your group of friends. Make sure a dependable friend knows where you are and who you are with at all times.
You don’t have to spend time with someone who you don’t know or trust. Even if someone asks you to leave with them, you can say you’d rather stay with your group of friends.
If you do hit it off with someone you just met, make sure you both are able to consent to any after-party activities. Get a clear, willing, and sober yes.
If you start to feel strange or unusually intoxicated, seek help from a friend. Do Not leave with someone you just met or that you do not know.
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe respect to your potential partner. These suggestions can help you to reduce your risk for crossing your partner’s boundaries:
- Listen carefully. Take time to hear what the other person has to say. If you feel they are not being direct or are giving you a “mixed message,” ask for clarification.
- If your partner says “no” at any point, believe them and stop. “No” does not mean “yes” or that you should try to convince your partner to continue. If they say “no”, stop what you are doing and talk to your partner to establish boundaries.
- Don’t make assumptions about a person’s behavior. If a person is dressed provocatively, they are intoxicated, or they agree to go to your room or walk home with you, this does NOT mean they want to have sex with you. If someone has had sex with you before, this does not mean they are willing to have sex with you again. Also, if your partner consents to kissing or other sexual activities, this does not mean they are consenting to all sexual activities. Before initiating any sexual activity, ask your partner if that is what they want to happen.
- Establish consent when you both are sober. This is especially important if you both plan on drinking. Have the conversation before you go out to establish boundaries and keep everyone safe.
- Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent.
- Be aware that having sex with someone who is incapable of giving consent is sexual assault. If you have sex with someone who is drugged, intoxicated, passed out, or is otherwise incapable of saying no or knowing what is going on around them, that is considered sexual assault.
- Be careful in group situations; resist pressure from friends to participate in violent acts.
- Take action if you believe someone is at risk. If you see someone in trouble or someone pressuring another person, don’t be afraid to intervene.
- Remember that sexual assault is a crime. It is never acceptable to force sexual activity, no matter what the circumstances. If your partner says no, is too intoxicated, or is no longer actively participating, you must stop.
More than 90 percent of sexual assaults that occur among college students involve people who know each other and the majority involve use of alcohol or other drugs.
The person who commits a sexual assault is always responsible for their actions; the victim or survivor is never to blame. You can reduce the likelihood that you or your friends will be assaulted or will assault someone. Below are some tips for you to consider in making Regis a safer community.