College campuses, by their vary nature, are places where sexual assault is a very present danger. Sexual assault is when one person forces another person into sexual contact without that person’s consent.
You have a right to say no in spite of what the other person might perceive as your receptiveness to that person. There should never be an expectation that you are open to a sexual encounter based on of the clothes you are wearing, your state of inebriation, the conversation you have been having, or any other suggestive behavior.
Here are strategies to protect yourself:
- Always go out with someone you know will be there for you should someone start acting aggressively toward you.
- Establish an agreement with your friends to take you home should you not be capable of making wise decisions.
- Always locate emergency call stations wherever you are so you will know where to go in case of a potential assault.
- Travel with others when you are out at night for a class, going to the library, or walking on campus.
- When you’re out, never accept a drink from someone you don’t know. Also protect any drink you have. This will help prevent your drink from being laced with a drug.
- Should you feel uncomfortable around someone, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom. Then leave the premise.
- Should another person start being forceful toward you, yell out loudly.
- Never leave your door or windows open in your apartment no matter how hot it is.
- When you go out, try to identify someone who you know you can call should you need a ride. Make sure to have this person’s number programmed into your phone.
Most college students will never experience a sexual assault on campus. But the danger is there, and you should observe the cautions listed above.
Topic suggested by Kendal Binion and Marisa Arnold, students at Wesleyan College..