While it is impossible, with 100% certainty, to prevent yourself from becoming a victim, there are steps that you can take to decrease the odds. There are ways to reduce your risks of sexual misconduct, to increase your own safety. You are worth it!
- Avoid intoxication or the use of recreational drugs. Being incapacitated makes you more vulnerable to exploitation.
- Be aware. Pour your own drinks (of any kind) and hold your own drink all evening.
- Communicate with others about your plans. Let your friends know when to expect you home.
- If you go to parties, go with friends, and leave with friends. Avoid being isolated. Do not leave with someone you don't know well and/or feel uneasy about. Trust your instincts.
- On first dates, take precautions such as meeting in public during daylight hours. Be prepared with essentials such as a cell phone and cash to get home. Proceed slowly in taking more risks as trust builds.
- Communicate your sexual desires and limits. You have the right to change your mind; communicate that clearly too.
- Avoid walking alone at night. Consider calling security for an escort. If you do walk alone, walk assertively, stay close to the curb, and be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep your residence hall's doors locked at night and any time you leave.
- Do not invite people you don't know well into your room alone. Let an RA, hall director, or security officer know if you need help getting an unwanted guest to leave your room.
- If you find yourself being victimized, do what you can to stop the perpetrator, yell "Fire," threaten to report, whatever you believe might work. But remember, whether or not you are successful, you are not responsible for another's crime.