Power based personal violence can happen to anyone, woman or man…it’s never the victim’s fault. It’s important to know that…
- 19% of undergraduate women report experiencing completed or attempted sexual assault since entering college and 10 to 50% of college students experience dating violence.
- Most sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim and the perpetrators are often serial offenders.
- Many perpetrators target victims who are drugged, drunk, passed out or otherwise incapacitated to create a situation in which victims may be less likely to report and where prosecutors may be less likely to prosecute.
There’s no absolute way to prevent sexual assault, but you can reduce your risk.
Tips for Partying Smart
- Stick with your friends.
- Make a plan before you go out. Set up checkpoints or code words to make it easy for you and your friends to stay connected.
- Hold on to your drink—even when you go to the bathroom.
- If your drink is out of your sight, even for a few seconds, get a new one. Spiking a drink with a date rape drug can happen quickly.
- Don’t accept a drink from anyone—unless you can watch the bartender pour it.
- Don’t share drinks.
- Don’t drink from punch bowls or open containers.
- Don’t drink anything that tastes strange.
- Avoid clubs or parties that charge men but let women enter and drink for free.
- Always keep your cell phone charged and on you. You never know when you’ll need it. There are also call boxes around the UTM campus that are routed directly to Public Safety.
- Establish a code when in a social setting with friends. Find a phrase or way of letting your friends know (could be a text message) when you feel uncomfortable and want to leave.
- Make sure you always have a ride home or a plan to walk home with a friend or roommate.
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, leave and get to a safe place immediately.
Tips for Dating Smart
- Know your limits—and let your date know them right from the start.
- Be clear about what’s okay for you. Don’t expect your date to read your mind.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.
- Don’t get in over your head. If someone pushes you to do something you don’t want to do, you have the right to leave.
- Lie if you have to. If you feel that the truth will offend the perpetrator or escalate the situation, make up a lie. Say something like, "My roommates expected me 20 minutes ago so I need to go home." or, "I don't feel well right now." or "My friends and I made plans to go to _________. I should get a move on so I'm not late."
- Stay in control. Alcohol is the most common date-rape drug. In fact, alcohol is involved in 75 percent of all sexual assaults reported.
- Tell a friend where you are going, especially if you’re going out on a first date or a blind date.
- Avoid secluded places until you know your date better.
- Always charge your cell phone and keep it on you.
- Pay attention to what you hear. A person may have a bad reputation for a reason.
- Be aware of controlling behavior in your date or relationship. Power based personal violence is a crime of power and control.
- Define yourself and your sexual limits and act quickly when a date or partner intentionally or unintentionally crosses your stated boundaries. Your sexual limits are yours alone to define.
- Set clear limits and be firm. It is your body, and no one has the right to force you to do anything you don’t want to do. If you do not want to be touched, you can say, “Don’t touch me,” or “Stop it, I’m not enjoying this.” Tell your date or partner, “If you do not respect my wishes right now, I’m leaving” and then do it if your partner won’t listen.
- Do not give mixed messages. Say “yes” when you mean “yes” and “no” when you mean “no.” Be sure that your words do not conflict with other signals such as eye contact, voice tone, posture or gestures.
- Be independent and aware on your dates. Have opinions about where to go and identify appropriate places to meet, (not necessarily your room or your date’s; these are the most likely places for dating violence to occur).
- Examine attitudes about money and power in the relationship. If your date or partner pays for the date, does it affect your ability to say “no?” Does your date or partner have a sense of sexual entitlement attached to spending money on your relationship? If so, then you may consider paying your own way, or suggesting dates that do not involve money.
- Avoid secluded places and suggest a group or double date. Meet in public places, where there are other people and where you feel comfortable. This is especially important at the beginning of a relationship until you feel you know the person better.
- When walking alone, avoid putting both headphones in your ears so you may hear the approach of others.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing who is around you and where you are can help you to get out of a bad situation.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel you are in a dangerous situation, or that you are being pressured, you’re probably right, and you need to respond. If a situation feels wrong or you start to get nervous about your date’s or partner’s behavior, confront the person immediately or leave as soon as possible.
- If you feel pressured, coerced or fearful: protest loudly, leave and, go for help. Make a scene! Your best defense is to attract attention to the situation if you feel you are in trouble. If you are worried about hurting the aggressors’ feelings, remember, the aggressor is attempting to hurt you physically and psychologically.
- Be aware that alcohol and drugs are often related to power based personal violence. They compromise your ability (and your partner’s ability) to make responsible decisions. If you choose to drink alcohol, drink responsibly. Be able to get yourself home, and do not rely on others to “take care” of you.
- Be aware of inequalities in the relationship. Power based personal violence is a display of power.
- Practice self-defense. Knowing in advance how you would respond to a physical threat greatly increases your chances of escape.
REMEMBER: If your prevention strategies do not work, it is not your fault if you experience power based personal violence. At any point when you are in a vulnerable situation, your partner has a range of choices…if your partner chooses to commit an act of power based personal violence, that choice is 100% your partner’s responsibility.
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UTM is committed to creating an environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking. UTM has adopted a University-wide policy that prohibits sexual misconduct, relationship violence and stalking.
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