Risk Reduction Tips
Sexual Violence Risk Reduction Tips
Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With
no intention to victim-blame, and with recognition that only those who commit
sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may
nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual
If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
Find someone nearby and ask for help.
Take proactive responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and
acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your inhibitions, including your
sexual inhibitions, and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a
drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. Attend events
and parties in a group, and stay with those friends until you leave. A real
friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them
when they do.
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe
your potential partner a high level of sexual respect. These suggestions may help
you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:
Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a
chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
Understand and respect personal boundaries.
DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent, someone’s sexual
availability, whether they are attracted to you, how far you can go, or
whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any
questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.
Understand that consent to one form of sexual behavior does not
automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
Consenting to kissing a partner does not constitute consenting to intercourse,
Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should
stop, defuse any sexual tension, and communicate better. You may be
misreading your partner’s signs. For example, 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.
Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if
they put themselves in that 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.
Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read
your partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal
communication and body language.
There are a multitude of resources and supports on campus and in the area that any student can utilize. There is also additional information and support available online and off campus.
Not Alone: Together Against Sexual Assault
Know Your IX: Empowering Students to Stop Sexual Violence
US Department of Education: Title IX and Sex Discrimination
Faculty and Staff Title IX Training
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Love is Respect
Text “campus” to 22522
National Domestic Violence Hotline