While victim-blaming is never appropriate and Wright State University fully recognizes that only those who commit sexual misconduct are responsible for their actions, Wright State University provides the suggestions that follow to help individuals reduce their risk of being victimized and their risk of committing acts of sexual misconduct.
Reducing the Risk of Victimization
- Make any limits/boundaries you may have known as early as possible.
- Clearly and firmly articulate consent or lack of consent
- Remove yourself, if possible, from an aggressor’s physical presence.
- Reach out for help, either from someone who is physically nearby or by calling someone. People around you may be waiting for a signal that you need help.
- Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol and/or drug consumption. Alcohol and drugs can increase your vulnerability to sexual victimization.
- Look out for your friends, and ask them to look out for you. Respect them, and ask them to respect you, but be willing to challenge each other about high-risk choices.
Reducing the Risk of Being Accused of Sexual Misconduct
- Show your potential partner respect if you are in a position of initiating sexual behavior. If a potential partner says “no,” accept it and don’t push it.. If you want a “yes,” ask for it, and don’t proceed without clear permission.
- Clearly communicate your intentions to your potential sexual partners, and give them a chance to share their intentions and/or boundaries with you.
- Respect personal boundaries. If you are unsure with what’s OK in an interaction, ask. Avoid ambiguity. Don’t make assumptions about consent, about whether someone is attracted to you, how far you can go with that person, or if the individual is physically and mentally able to consent. If you have questions or are unclear, YOU DON’T HAVE CONSENT.
- Don’t take advantage of the fact that someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, even if that person chose to become that way. Others’ loss of control does not put you in control.
- Recognize that even if you don’t think you are intimidating in any way, your potential partner may be intimidated by or fearful of you, perhaps because of your sex, physical size, or a position of power or authority you may hold.
- Do not assume someone’s silence or passivity is an indication of consent. Pay attention to verbal and nonverbal signals to avoid misreading intentions.
- Understand that consent to one type of sexual behavior does not automatically grant consent to other types of sexual behaviors