Common sense, situational awareness, and trusting your instincts can reduce your risk of being sexually assaulted. The following tips may be helpful in reducing risk:
- If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. Studies indicate that about half of all U.S. sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol by the offender, the victim, or both.
- Do not leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
- When you date someone, communicate clearly with that person to ensure he or she knows your limits from the beginning. Both verbal and nonverbal (body language) communication can be used to ensure the message is understood.
- If you go on a date with someone you do not know very well, tell a close friend what your plans are.
You have the right to say “No” even if you:
- Say yes, but change your mind
- Have had sex with this partner before
- Have been kissing or “making out”
- Are wearing “provocative” clothing
- Always have extra money to get home. Have a plan for someone you can call if you need help.
- If you feel uncomfortable, scared, or pressured, act quickly to end the situation. Say, “Stop it” and leave or call for help.
- When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Do not allow yourself to be isolated with a person you do not know or trust.
- Travel with a friend or in a group.
- Plan your outings and avoid getting into a bad situation.
- Walk only in lighted areas after dark.
- Keep the doors to homes, barracks, and cars locked.
- Keep your cell phone charged and with you at all times.