Sexual Misconduct: Unwanted Sexual Behavior
Reduce the Risk of Being Assaulted
By someone you don't know...
- Speak up if someone tries to violate your body space.
- Walk with confidence! Show that you’re in control. Be aware of your surroundings.
- Know that if you’re drinking or using drugs, your judgment may be foggy, and it may be difficult to communicate effectively. Always keep your drinks or foods under a close eye—a potential attacker may try to drug you. Partner up with a friend and agree to watch each other.
Trust Your Instincts!
- Assess your situation. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened, get out! Move to a space where you feel safe.
- Try to act quickly. If you feel that you do not have the power to leave a situation, use a combination of strategies, like yelling, fighting, and running to escape; however, different strategies may work in various situations. Your brain and instincts are your best tools.
Choose a Healthy Lifestyle!
- Build mutually supportive relationships.
- Take a self-defense class.
- Promote positive changes in your environment. Join advocacy groups.
By someone you know...
- Make your limits known before things go too far. Remember that sometimes it is someone you know and trust who may try to hurt you. Don’t be afraid to respond to inappropriate words or touches immediately.
- Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and loudly, like you mean it.
- Try to extricate yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
- Grab someone nearby and ask for help.
- Be responsible for your alcohol intake/drug use and realize that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
- Watch out for your friends and ask that they watch out for you. A real friend will get in your face if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them if they do.
If you feel you have been a victim of sexual misconduct, view Sexual Misconduct and the Student Guide to the Resources, Rights, and Responsibilities for information on your options and emotional resources.
Like the mighty phoenix,
Once again I rise from the flames set to destroy me & take flight.
- Kirsti A. Dyer, MD., MS.