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Prevention

Women and Men

  • Think about what your sexual limits are and be prepared to communicate them directly.
  • Be aware of sex-role stereotypes that prevent you from acting as you want to, such as a woman not being able to initiate sexual activity or a man not being able to say "no".
  • Pay attention to nonverbal behaviors, including the signals you may be sending.  Make sure that your body language is consistent with verbal messages.
  • Remember that alcohol and other drugs can interfere with your ability to communicate effectively and deal with potentially dangerous situations.   Be responsible in your decision making with regard to alcohol and drugs.

Women

  • Learn to be assertive and speak directly.  Don't worry about being polite.  Expect and demand that your rights and feelings be respected.
  • Be aware that some men make assumptions about a woman's willingness to engage in sexual activity because of her behavior.  If she's drinking heavily, dressed provocatively, or goes to his room, he may assume that she's available.
  • Trust your instincts.  If the situation doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.  Confront the person immediately or leave.
  • Avoid being in a vulnerable situation with someone you don't know well.
  • Know how you're getting to or back home from a social event.  Travel with a friend or group of friends.  For on campus activities, you call Behrend's Police Escort Service rather than walking alone or with someone you just met.
  • Use common sense to avoid stranger attacks: lock your doors, cooperate with residence hall security measures, try to walk with a friend at night, stay alert to your surroundings, take well-lit walkways, and use Behrend's Police Escort Service

Men

  • In a dating situation, listen carefully to the woman's statements.  If you're confused about what she means, particularly if you feel that she's giving a mixed message, ask for clarification.
  • Don't make assumptions about a woman's behavior.  You can't assume that a woman who drinks heavily, dresses provocatively, or goes to your room wants to have intercourse with you; if she consents to kissing or petting, don't assume that she's willing to have intercourse.
  • Assume that "no" means NO.
  • Do not exploit others sexually.  Focus on consent and mutuality.
  • Avoid participating in peer pressure that encourages "scoring" and bragging about sexual activity.  Instead, use peer pressure positively to discourage exploitation of women.  For example, don't engage in "locker room" talk about women or laugh at rape jokes.
  • Confront exploitative and/or violent behaviors when they are occurring.  As difficult as it may be, you truly will be helping all those involved.
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