Risk Reduction Tips

student playing bean bag toss on field

SEXUAL VIOLENCE RISK REDUCTION

If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:

1. Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.

2. Understand and respect personal boundaries.

3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about someone’s sexual availability; about whether they are attracted to you; about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.

4. Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.

5. Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.

6. 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.

7. Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.

8. Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.