Sexual assault can happen to anyone at any time; however, there are some basic ways to help create a safer environment.
Safety when Partying
- Go with a group. Arrive together and leave together, and make sure no one is left behind.
- Check in with each other so you or your friends do not get stuck alone with someone unfamiliar.
- Create a secret signal among your friends to let them know you are ready to leave, or that you are uncomfortable in the setting, so they can come assist you.
- Before you get to the party, designate a meeting spot in case your group gets separated. Make sure this spot has good lighting and is in a safe area.
- If someone you do not know wants to take you somewhere alone, tell her or him that you would rather stay with your group.
Safety in Practice
- Keep an eye on your drink, and help your friends watch theirs. Only accept drinks from someone you know and trust. Whenever possible, buy yourself or a friend a bottled drink because they are more difficult to tamper with.
- Always know the way back home and keep your ears clear of headphones and your hands free of packages or bags.
- Have the items you need for a safe night with you. This can be a fully charged cell phone, emergency phone numbers, cab money, or pepper spray.
- Don't take shortcuts through potentially dangerous areas. Even if the safest way home is longer, take that route.
- Report suspicious behavior, even if you are not being directly threatened.
- You are more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone you know. Communicate clearly about how you feel and what you want in a sexual situation. Listen to your partner. Do not rely on body language–stop, ask, and clarify what your partner wants.
- Remember that "no" means "no" and that submission is not a "yes." People are not able to consent if under the influence of alcohol, or other drugs.
- Remember that a prior sexual encounter with someone does not automatically give permission for future sexual interactions with that person.
- Take care of yourself. It is not an effective strategy to assume that someone else is going to protect you.
- Remember to look out for each other.
- Victims are NEVER to blame for their assault.