What You Can Do to Reduce the Number of Sexual Assaults

As members of the John Carroll community we all have a role to play in helping to shift social norms and reduce violence. We can all make a choice to intervene when we see a potentially harmful situation or speak up when we here remarks that reinforce gender stereotypes, rape culture, or are potentially harmful. To learn to how to do this most effectively check out the Bringing in the Bystander training.

What can you do to reduce your own risk

It is important to know that as a survivor of sexual assault you are never to blame for the incident. However, you may be wondering what you can do to reduce the risk of being sexually assaulted by an acquaintance.  Here are some safety tips to practice in a social situation:

  • When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other, and leave together.
  • Practice safe drinking. Try not to leave any beverages unattended or accept drinks from someone you don’t know or trust.
  • Have a buddy system. Don’t be afraid to let a friend know if something is making you uncomfortable or if you are worried about your or your friend’s safety.
  • If someone you don’t know or trust asks you to go somewhere alone, let him or her know that you would rather stay with the group.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad situation.

Here are some tips on avoiding dangerous situations:

  • Try to avoid isolated areas and being isolated with just one other person. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around. Call Campus Safety if you need an escort.
  • Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
  • Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged.
  • Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.