Sexual Misconduct: Unwanted Sexual Behavior
What You Can Do to Reduce the Risk of Assaulting Someone
- Don’t make assumptions . . .
. . . about consent.
. . . about someone’s sexual availability.
. . . about whether they are attracted to you.
. . . about how far you can go.
. . . about whether they are physically and
mentally able to consent to you.
- Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
- Mixed messages from your partner should be a clear indication that you should step back, defuse the sexual tension, and communicate better. Perhaps you are misreading them. Perhaps they haven’t figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You need to respect the timeline with which they are comfortable.
- Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state.
- Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don’t abuse that power.
- Understand that consent to some forms of sexual behavior does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual behavior.
- On La Salle’s campus, silence and passivity cannot be interpreted by you as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.
Note: Sexual Misconduct involves ANY sexual contact or act imposed on another person WITHOUT that person's EFFECTIVE CONSENT (i.e. when drinking and/or drugs are involved or when true threats, intimidation, or coercion are utilized).
Like the mighty phoenix,
Once again I rise from the flames set to destroy me & take flight.
- Kirsti A. Dyer, MD., MS.