Sexual Assault Prevention
10 Things Anyone Can Do To Help Prevent Sexual Assault
- Be aware of language. Words are very powerful, especially when spoken by people with power over others. When we see women as inferior, it becomes easier to treat them with less respect, disregard their rights, and ignore their well-being.
- Communicate. Sexual violence often goes hand in hand with poor communication. Our discomfort with talking honestly and openly about sex dramatically raises the risk of rape. By learning effective sexual communication -- stating your desires clearly, listening to your partner, and asking when the situation is unclear Ė you can make sex safer for yourself and others.
- Speak up. You will probably never see a rape in progress, but you will see and hear attitudes and behaviors that degrade women and promote rape. When your best friend tells a joke about rape, say you donít think itís funny. When you read an article that blames a rape survivor for being assaulted, write a letter to the editor. When laws are proposed that limit womenís rights, let politicians know that you wonít support them. Do anything but remain silent.
- Support survivors of rape. Rape will not be taken seriously until everyone knows how common it is. By learning to sensitively support survivors in their lives, we can help both women and other men feel safer to speak out about being raped and let the world know how serious a problem rape is.
- Contribute Your Time and/or Money. Donate your time or money to an organization working to prevent violence against women in our community, such as Crisis Services or the Family Justice Center .
- Organize. Join an organization dedicated to stopping violence against women, such as The Menís Group here at UB. Menís Anti-Rape groups are powerful in the fight to end sexual violence. You may also join SBI Safety Services through SBI Health Education.
- Talk with women... about how the risk of being raped affects their daily lives; about how they want to be supported if it has happened to them; about what they think men can do to prevent sexual violence. If youíre willing to listen, you can learn a lot from women about the impact of rape and how to stop it.
- Talk with men... about how it feels to be seen as a potential rapist; about the fact that 10-20% of all males will be sexually abused in their lifetimes; about whether they know someone whoís been raped. Learn about how sexual violence touches the lives of men and what we can do to stop it.
- Work to end ALL oppressions. Rape feeds off many other forms of prejudice -- including racism, homophobia, and religious discrimination. By speaking out against any beliefs and behaviors, including rape, that promote one group of people as superior to another and deny other groups their full humanity, you support everyoneís equality.
- Always make sure itís consensual. If youíre going to have sex, make sure that itís consensual. Consensual sex is when both partners are freely and willingly agreeing to whatever sexual activity is occurring. Consent is an active process, you cannot assume you have consent Ė you need to ask. Consent cannot be given legally when an individual is intoxicated.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs to know?
You have the right to choose whom you tell. You may consider talking to a trusted friend or family member or to any of the university offices linked to this website.
Will my parents be called?
Not without your permission. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, the hospital may call your closest relative, but the nature of your injuries will not be disclosed.
How can you keep the person who hurt me away?
A report would need to be filed with the University Police. Orders of protection can be obtained through the Student Wide Judiciary or other local jurisdictions.
Do I have to go to court?
Only if you want to press charges and you don't have to make that decision right away. For more information: Subboard I Legal Assistance
What if I have pregnancy, HIV/STD or injury concerns?
You can go to any local emergency room for testing, emergency medical care, and/or evidence collection - ECMC is a Center of Excellence for victims of sexual assault, and we recommend this hospital for care following a sexual assault. ECMC is located at 462 Grider Street in Buffalo.
You can visit Student Health Services for HIV/STI testing. Emergency contraception (EC) is available at the SBI Pharmacy in Michael Hall on South Campus and Wellness Education Services in the Student Union on North Campus without a prescription for $25 (18 and older w/ photo ID). EC is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy AFTER unprotected sex or the failure of other birth control methods that can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse.