Avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault

Here are a few ways to keep you from becoming a victim. With these simple tips, you'll stay in control and reduce your risk of assault.

  • Keep from being drugged -Don't leave drinks unattended or drink from a punch bowl. Don't drink anything you didn't open yourself and keep in your possession. A variety of drugs, sometimes referred to as "Date rape drugs", can be put in drinks and cause intense drunkenness and memory loss. They can also physically impair you - you cannot walk, talk, or escape assault.
  • Avoid drinking too much and using drugs - Excessive drinking or use of drugs can make you vulnerable and distort your judgment. This can make it harder to stay in control of the situation. There are rapists out there looking to take advantage of people under these influences.
  • Keep friends close -  Don't go out alone with someone you don't know well. There is strength in numbers; go out with a group instead. Watch out for one another. If a friend looks like she has had too much to drink or is under the influence of drugs, help her and don't leave her with anyone.
  • Stay in control - Say what you expect from your date - be up front. Know when you or the person you are with is starting to cross the line and stop it immediately. Trust your instincts. If a situation feels unsafe, you are probably right. Get help or go home as soon as possible.

What men and women need to know about sexual assault:

  • Be self-aware - Know when you or someone else is starting to cross the line. Trust your instincts.
  • No always means no - Even if you have always believed that sometimes people say "no" when they mean "yes", always act as if "no" means "NO".
  • It's NEVER okay to force yourself on someone, even if you think that he or she has been leading you on.
  • Alcohol and/or drugs are involved in the majority of sexual assaults.