Understand how to do your part to create a campus community that promotes the health and wellness of everyone, and does not tolerate violence, abuse and assault:
- Talk about sex. A lot. It’s every person’s right to talk about what sexual activity they do and don’t want, and others’ responsibility to listen and respect that. If you don’t feel comfortable enough to do this, it probably means you should think more about the situation. Is there something about you that makes you not want to talk about it? Are you sure you’re emotionally ready for sex? Is there something about the other person? Are you already feeling pressure?
- Do not assume that silence means it’s ok to go further. Some people want to be intimate, but don’t want to have sex. Also, someone may not be able to say clearly how far they want to go, because they are afraid, confused or have had too much to drink. It is each individual’s responsibility to find out if the person they are with wants to have sex before it happens.
- Remember a lot of people have been assaulted, and this could include the person you’re dating. Up to 25 percent of women, 10 percent of men, and 50 percent of trans and genderqueer people have experienced sexual violence. Be sensitive to this when starting a sexual relationship with a person—communicate!
- Don’t support jokes or stereotypes or behavior that contributes to sexual assault or victimization. Confront unhealthy attitudes or take the initiative to intervene or get help if you see a dangerous situation developing.
- Be thoughtful about your alcohol and drug use. People who have been drinking or using drugs often can’t read others’ signals about attraction and sexual interest. Know your limits and stay in control. Remember that judgment becomes impaired with substance use, so if the other person is intoxicated they legally can’t consent to have sex with you, and if you have sex with them anyways it’s rape.
- Remember that alcohol is the most frequently used date rape drug. While there are many drugs commonly referred to as “date rape drugs,” most people use alcohol to try to get a person to “loosen up.” A person who gets another person drunk so that they’ll “agree” to sex (or pass out so they can have sex with them) is guilty of rape.
- Just because someone shows bad judgment does not mean they deserve to be raped. The person responsible for a rape is the person who goes ahead and has sex with someone without that person’s consent. Just because someone walks home alone, or goes to a party with new people, gets drunk, or passes out doesn’t mean they “had it coming.”
- Learning self-defense can be empowering and instructive. Salem State campus police offer regular classes in self-defense techniques that are available to all Salem State students.