Risk Reduction and Tips

 It is important to remember that sexual misconduct is never the fault of the victim.

Risk Reduction Tips

A Guide for the Wayland Baptist University Community

Most sexual assaults among college students involve people who know each other, and the majority involve use of alcohol or other drugs.  Whether someone is sober or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, if they are sexually assaulted they are not responsible for the assault.

Anyone can be sexually assaulted, and there are no sure means to prevent sexual assault because the only people who can prevent sexual assault are those who perpetrate it.  However, you can take steps to lessen the likelihood that you or your friends will be assaulted or will assault someone. 


 

If you or someone you know has been sexually violated:

DO:

  • Be supportive, listen to them.
  • Share your feelings of concern for them.                                                                                     
  • Communicate to your friend that they are not responsible for the violation.                                             
  •  Make sure your friend has a safe place to stay.                                                                                         
  •  Allow your friend to regain control by making their own decisions.                                                           
  • Make yourself available to accompany your friend to a helping resource (e.g., Hospital, Health Services,Counseling Center).                                                                          
  • Realize that you, too, have been affected and seek support if you need it.

DON’T

  • Attempt to seek revenge. 
  • Make jokes.                                                                                                                
  • Be angry with your friend.                                                                                                      
  • Force your friend to talk and/or take control from them.                                                          
  • Ask your friend how they could “let this happen.                                                                
  • Assume you understand how your friend feels.                                                                            
  • Discuss the incident with others unless you have permission from your friend.

Tell Someone

Collect your thoughts, then call 911 or any police department.

Get Medical Care

As soon as possible, seek medical care from a hospital emergency room, A general exam by a rape/sexual assault nurse at your local emergency room is advised to collect information for documentation of evidence should you decide to prosecute. The exam may also include testing and treatment to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases.


Report the Incident

It is your decision whether to report the incident; however, most people that commit sexual assaults are are repeat offenders and your report may prevent future attacks from occurring. University personnel will assist you in notifying the police if needed. If you plan to file a report, do not clean up the area or alter it in any way prior to arrival of the WBU Police Department or local law enforcement officials and follow the steps below to preserve evidence.

Report Directly:

Dr. Justin Lawrence

Title IX Administrator

Phone:(806) 291-1173

Email: lawrencej@wbu.edu

Report Online:  www2.wbu.edu/reportcrime/defaultIX.aspx

If after hours call WBU Police: (806)774-4225

For incidents in progress or emergencies - DIAL 9-911 on campus, or 911 off campus. If you use  your cell phone or a phone off campus, DIAL 911.


 

Preserve Evidence

Even if you have no immediate intention to report the incident to the police, preserving evidence will be important in case you later decide to press criminal charges or pursue university disciplinary action against another person. Physical evidence may also help you obtain an order from a court or the university requiring the other person involved to stay away from you.

  1. If you have been sexually assaulted, it is better if you DO NOT shower or bathe, douche, wash hands, use the toilet, brush your teeth, change clothing, or wash clothing or If you change clothes, carefully place all clothing worn at the time (or bedding) into a paper bag.
  2. At a hospital, a sexual assault examination (also known as a forensic examination) can be conducted to gather evidence, whether or not you intend to press criminal charges. This procedure includes a physical exam where a doctor or a trained nurse collects the evidence of the You will need to bring an extra set of clothing. The clothing worn during the assault may be collected as evidence.
  3. If you believe you have been drugged, traces of the drug may still be detected for up to 96 hours after ingestion (depending on dosage, and individual metabolism). The chances of getting proof are best when the sample is obtained In general, evidence collection is best if done immediately following an assault. The more time that passes between the sexual assault and medical collection of evidence, the less likely it is that the evidence will be useful in the prosecution of a criminal case.
  4. It may be helpful for you to immediately write down everything you can remember about the incident, including what the assailant(s) looked like (e.g., height, weight, scars, tattoos, hair color, clothes); any unusual odor; any noticeable signs of intoxication; anything the assailant(s) said during the assault; what kinds of sexual activities were demanded and/or carried out; if weapons, threats, or physical force were used; and any special traits noticed (e.g., limp, speech impediments, use of slang, lack of erection, etc.). Writing it down will not only aid you in recalling details should you choose to report, it also can be empowering as it allows you an element of control in a situation where control had previously been taken
  5. Remember to preserve electronic evidence. Text messages, emails, voicemails, records of recent phone calls, and posts on social media may all provide critical evidence and should not be deleted from your cellphone, computer, or other device. Police or university investigators can help you document and preserve electronic evidence.

Reduce the Risk of Committing Sexual Assault

  1. Listen carefully. Take time to hear what the other person has to say.  If you feel they are not being direct or are giving you a “mixed message” ask for clarification.
  2. Don’t fall for the cliché “if they say no, they really mean yes.”  If your partner says “no” to sexual contact, believe them and stop.  If they seem uncomfortable or uncertain, stop and check in.  It is never acceptable to force sexual activity, or to pressure, coerce, or manipulate someone into having sex, no matter the circumstances. The campus has employed an affirmative consent policy. Yes means yes.
  3. Don’t make assumptions about a person’s behavior. Don’t assume that someone wants to have sex because of the way they are dressed, they drink (or drink too much), or agree to go to your room.  Don’t assume that if someone has had sex with you before they are willing to do so again.  Also don’t assume that if your partner consents to kissing or other sexual activities, they are consenting to all sexual activities.  Obtain clear consent for each sexual activity.
  4. Be aware that having sex with someone who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent. If you have sex with someone who is incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs, passed out, or is other wise incapable of saying no or knowing what is going on around them, you may be guilty of sexual assault.
  5. Remember sexual assault is a crime punishable via campus conduct, criminal, and civil proceedings 
  1. Be careful in group situations; resist pressure from friends to participate in violent acts.
  1. Get involved if you believe that someone is at risk. If you see someone in trouble or someone pressuring another person, don’t be afraid to intervene - or get help to do so.

 


Reduce the Risk of being Sexually Assaulted

Anyone can be sexually assaulted, and there are no sure means to prevent sexual assault because the only people who can prevent sexual assault are those who perpetrate it.  However, you can take steps to lessen the likelihood that you or your friends will be assaulted or will assault someone. 

  1. Know where you are going and speak up if you are uncomfortable with the plans.
  2. Pay attention to behavior that doesn’t seem right. Power stares, someone who grabs or pushes, someone who doesn’t listen or disregards what you are saying, someone who blocks your way, or someone sitting or standing uncomfortably close are all clues that you should stay alert
  3. Set sexual limits. You don’t “owe” anyone sex. Communicate those limits. People can’t read your mind. If you give consent, you have the right to revoke it at any
  4. Know your sexual intentions and limits. You have the right to say “NO” to any unwanted sexual contact.  If you are uncertain of what you want, ask your partner to respect your feelings.
  5. Trust your feelings. If you feel pressured, you probably Listen to your gut feelings.  If you feel uncomfortable or think you might be at risk, leave the situation immediately and go to a safe place. If you feel you are being pressured or coerced into sexual activity, you have a right to state your feelings and/or leave the situation.  If you are concerned about the other person becoming angry, it is okay to make up an excuse to leave or create time to get help.
  6. Be Get angry and act immediately with a negative response if things seem out of hand. Stand up for yourself. It’s OK to make a scene or be rude if someone is pressuring you.
  7. Communicate with your partner: NO MEANS NO; CLEAR verbal or non-verbal CONSENT MEANS YES.
  8. Control your environment. Decide whether you want to be in a particular place or not, and don’t depend on casual acquaintances for money, shelter, transportation,
  9. Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
  10. Be aware that some people mistakenly believe drinking, dressing provocatively, or going to your or someone else’s room means you are willing to have sex.  Be clear up front about your limits in such situations.
  11. Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
  12. Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
  13. Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
  14. Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more vulnerable.
  15. Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that you have cab money.
  16. Don't allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.
  17. Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
  18. When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other throughout the evening, and leave together. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad situation. Attend large parties with friends you trust.  Agree to “look out” for one another.  Leave with the group, not alone.  Avoid leaving with people that you don’t know very well.
  19. Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut. If you see something suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.).
  20. Know that drinking and drug use can impair your judgment. You might not be able to make the same decision you would make if you were sober.
  21. Don't leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a phone call. If you’ve left your drink alone, just get a new one.
  22. Don't accept drinks from people you don't know or trust. If you choose to accept a drink, go with the person to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself. At parties, don’t drink from the punch bowls or other large, common open containers. Mixed drinks can have more alcohol in them than you might want to drink.  Also, drugs (e.g., Rohypnol, GHB) can be dissolved in a drink, causing side effects such as nausea, dizziness, disorientation, &/or loss of consciousness.
  23. Watch out for your friends, and vice versa. If a friend seems out of it, is way too intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they’ve had, or is acting out of character, get him or her to a safe place immediately.
  24. If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.). Be explicit with doctors so they can give you the correct tests (you will need a urine test and possibly others).
  25. If you need to get out of an uncomfortable or scary situation here are some things that you can try:
    1. Remember that being in this situation is not your fault. You did not do anything wrong, it is the person who is making you uncomfortable that is to blame.
    2. Be true to yourself. Don't feel obligated to do anything you don't want to do. "I don't want to" is always a good enough reason. Do what feels right to you and what you are comfortable with.
    3. Have a code word with your friends or family so that if you don’t feel comfortable you can call them and communicate your discomfort without the person you are with knowing. Your friends or family can then come to get you or make up an excuse for you to leave.
    4. If you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings it is better to lie and make up a reason to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable, scared, or worse. Some excuses you could use are: needing to take care of a friend or family member, not feeling well, having somewhere else that you need to be, etc.
  26. Try to think of an escape route. How would you try to get out of the room? Where are the doors? Windows? Are there people around who might be able to help you? Is there an emergency phone nearby?
  27. If you and/or the other person have been drinking, you can say that you would rather wait until you both have your full judgment before doing anything you may regret later.

 

How to Be an Active Bystander

Bystanders play a critical role in the prevention of sexual and relationship violence. They are “individuals who observe violence or witness the conditions that perpetuate violence. They are not directly involved but have the choice to intervene, speak up, or do something about it.”[1] We want to promote a culture of community accountability where bystanders are actively engaged in the prevention of violence without causing further harm. We may not always know what to do even if we want to help. Below is a list[2] of some ways to be an active bystander. Further information regarding bystander intervention may be found. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, dial 911.This could be when a person is yelling at or being physically abusive towards another and it is not safe for you to interrupt.

  1. Watch out for your friends and fellow students/employees. If you see someone who looks like they could be in trouble or need help, ask if they are ok.

  2. Confront people who seclude, hit on, try to make out with, or have sex with people who are incapacitated.

  3. Speak up when someone discusses plans to take sexual advantage of another person.

  4. Believe someone who discloses sexual assault, abusive behavior, or experience with stalking.

  5. Refer people to on or off campus resources listed in this document for support in health, counseling, or with legal assistance.

[1] Burn, S.M. (2009). A situational model of sexual assault prevention through bystander intervention. Sex Roles, 60, 779-792.

[2] Bystander intervention strategies adapted from Stanford University’s Office of Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse


 

Seek Counseling

The local Rape Crisis Hotline and the Wayland Baptist University Counseling Center are staffed with well trained and compassionate counselors. They can assist you in dealing with the emotional trauma and pain associated with sexual assault. University officials will also help you change academic and living situations if that is your choice and such options are reasonably available. In addition you can contact the Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN) which offers national anonymous hotline support to survivors and allies at 1.800.656.HOPE FREE (4673). If you would rather chat with someone online, RAINN also operates the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, a live, secure, anonymous crisis chat support. To access help 24 hours a day, visit: https://hotline.rainn.org/online