It is never your fault if someone takes sexual advantage of you. However, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of experiencing sexual violence. These strategies are provided with no intention to victim-blame and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for such conduct.
- If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe about a person or situation, trust your gut and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.
- Understand and respect personal boundaries. Do not pressure a potential partner; "no means no," "yes means yes."
- Don't take advantage of someone's drunken, drugged or otherwise incapacitated state.
- Understand that consent to one form of sexual activity does not constitute consent for any other sexual activity, and consent can be withdrawn at any time for any reason.
- Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read the other person carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language. If it is not clear by the other person's words and/or actions that they are a willing participant in that specific activity, then you need to stop.
- Watch out for your friends and ask that they watch out for you. A real friend will step in and challenge you if they see you are in a potentially dangerous situation; respect them when they do.
- Don't go somewhere with someone you don't know well. If you do leave a party with a new friend, tell the friends you came with where you are going and when you are coming back.