Tips to reduce your risk
No victim is ever to blame for being assaulted or abused. Unfortunately, a person who is the victim of sexual or dating violence is more likely to be re-victimized. Below are some tips to help reduce your risk, to recognize warnings signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks.
Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior
Domestic and dating abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And, while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic and dating violence are also severe. Warning signs of dating and domestic violence include:
- Being afraid of your partner.
- Constantly watching what you say to avoid a “blow up.”
- Feelings of low self-worth and helplessness about your relationship.
- Feeling isolated from family or friends because of your relationship.
- Hiding bruises or other injuries from family or friends.
- Being prevented from working, studying, going home, and/or using technology (including your cell phone.)
- Being monitored by your partner at home, work or school.
- Being forced to do things you don’t want to do.
Help Reduce Your Risk and Avoid Potential Attacks
If you are being abused or suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up or intervene.
- Get help by contacting a counselor in Student Services for support services.
- Learn how to look for “red flags” in relationships so you can learn to avoid some of those characteristics in future partners.
- Consider making a report to the Department of Public Safety and/or the Title IX Coordinator and ask for a “no contact” directive to prevent future contact.
- Consider getting a legal protective order or stay away order.
- Learn more about what behaviors constitute dating and domestic violence, understand it is not your fault, and talk with friends and family members about ways you can be supported.
- Trust your instincts—if something doesn't feel right in a relationship, speak up or end it.
Sexual Assault Prevention (From RAINN)
- Be aware of rape drugs
- Try not to leave your drink unattended
- Only drink from un-opened containers or from drinks you have watched being made and poured
- Avoid group drinks like punch bowls
- Cover your drink. It is easy to slip in a small pill even while you are holding your drink. Hold a cup with your hand over the top, or choose drinks that are contained in a bottle and keep your thumb over the nozzle
- If you feel extremely tired or drunk for no apparent reason, you may have been drugged. Find your friends and ask them to leave with you as soon as possible
- If you suspect you have been drugged, go to a hospital and ask to be tested
- Keep track of how many drinks you have had
- Try to come and leave with a group of people you trust
- Avoid giving out your personal information (phone number, where you live, etc.). If someone asks for your number, take his/her number instead of giving out yours
- Make sure your cell phone is easily accessible and fully charged
- Be familiar with where emergency phones are installed on the campus
- Be aware of open buildings where you can use a phone
- Keep some change accessible just in case you need to use a pay phone
- Take major, public paths rather than less populated shortcuts
- Avoid dimly lit places and talk to the Depatment of Public Safety if lights need to be installed in an area
- Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone
- Carry a noisemaker (like a whistle) on your keychain
- Carry a small flashlight on your keychain
- If walking feels unsafe, call the Department of Public Safety for an escort