Sexual Assault Prevention Strategies

Reducing Your Risk of Being Assaulted

Watch Out For Warning Signs. It's important to avoid risky situations like being alone with someone you don't know well and to watch for warning signs like disrespectful language or controlling or aggressive behavior.

Set Some Limits. To reduce the chance for misunderstandings to occur, it is good to let others know what you want and what you don't want. If you don't want to have sex, it's okay to say "no" at any time.

Stay in Control. Getting drunk or high makes you more vulnerable to being assaulted. Protect yourself by staying sober.

Trust Your Feelings. If you don't feel comfortable, trust your instincts and try to get out of the situation.

Self-Defense. Taking a self-defense class might help you feel safer in the future.

Promoting a Safer Environment

Don't Take Advantage. Be aware of your impact on those around you and try not to make others uncomfortable or harm them.

Communicate. In a dating or sexual situation, it is important to clearly communicate with your partner about what you want and what they want. Listen to what your partner says verbally and non-verbally. No means no! If you're not sure, ask for clarification.

Don't Assume Personal Rejection. If someone doesn't want to have sex, it may not mean they don't like you. Make sure to distinguish between personal rejection and a desire not to have sex.

Don't Lose Control. When people are drunk or high, it's harder to communicate about sexual decision making. People are more likely to use force or coercion while under the influence.

Strive For Equality & Respect. Ideally, relationships should be based on equality and respect. Equal relationships support open communication and value the desires of both partners. Questioning or confronting sexist comments or rape jokes can create a safer environment for everyone.

Copyright ©1998 Sexual Assault Prevention Team, University of Hawai`i at Manoa.