top of page

Preventing Sexual Assault: Empowering Communities and Creating Change

Sexual assault does not discriminate. Anyone can be a target. There is no stereotypical victim or attacker. Approximately 85% of victim's knew their attackers. Things can escalate quickly if we allow it. As a community we need to change the social norms that accept or allow indifference to violence. Sexual assault can occur anywhere and at anytime. However, we can still take such steps like being accompanied by a trusted family, friend, or colleague. If we avoid alcohol and drugs we can reduce the risk of being victimized.

Communicate early. If someone starts to offend you or cross a boundary you have set for yourself don't be afraid to tell them. In the book the Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker the author states that "Men are nice when they pursue. Women are nice when they reject." Make sure you communicate firmly. Being polite may be misunderstood or ignored altogether. If the person does not respect your wishes then remove yourself from the situation immediately.

Often being passive can be seen as giving permission. It is definitely not permission. Once you say no then stick with your decision. There must always be active consent on both sides.

Trust your instincts. You might ask, why a picture of a deer? Well, Humans are the only species on the planet that goes against their instinct. A deer wouldn't look at a mountain lion and be apologetic for running away. If you feel you are being pressured for unwanted sex, you are. If you are uncomfortable in a situation then get out. Don't be apologetic for your safety.

Unfortunately, communication is not always effective. Some people don't listen nor do they care. If a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs then communication likely won't work at all. If someone is not responding to your objections you have the right to respond physically.

Remember without clear consent from both parties it is still sexual assault. Persistence only proves persistence it does not prove love. In the dictionary "No" means "No." It should in reality as well.



bottom of page