Risk Reduction Strategies
Alcohol and Drugs
- Limit your use of alcohol. Know your limits and stick to them. Alcohol impairs judgment and one’s ability to give consent.
- Use a "sober buddy system"; agree that one person will stay sober and watch out for others.
- Be aware of "date rape drugs." Do not leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from someone you do not know. Avoid drinking from open containers or punch bowls.
- Someone who is intoxicated/under the influence of a drug cannot give consent.
- Understand that alcohol and drug use can impair your ability to keep yourself safe.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around may help you find a way to get out of a bad situation.
- Go out in groups and come home in groups. Do not leave friends behind.
- Stay in public places; do not wander off with someone you have just met.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel threatened, intimidated or afraid, get out of the situation if possible and as soon as possible.
- Make sure your cell phone is charged and with you, and take enough money with you in case you need to take a cab ride home if possible.
- Walk in well-traveled and well lit pathways and walk with a purpose.
- Avoid wearing headphones in both ears, as this decreases your awareness of your surroundings.
Relationships and Communication
- Communicate clearly; state your sexual desires and limits
- Listen carefully to what your date/partner is saying. Remember no means no, always.
- Ask for clarification if you are getting mixed messages. Don’t guess about what your partner may or may not want.
- Be prepared to clarify any misperceptions based on gestures, postures, tone of voice, or style of dress.
- Pay attention to criticism, humiliation, loss of temper, threats, and any controlling or possessive behavior (i.e., monitoring you, checking up on you, not wanting you to spend time with family/friends). These characteristics are often associated with interpersonal violence.
- Do not post too much personal information on social media sites (i.e., class schedule, cell phone number, etc). Make sure your privacy settings are set so your personal information is not being shared with people who you do not know well or trust.
- If someone tries to force you to do something you do not want to do, actively resist if it is safe and/or you are able to do so – hit, kick, scream, run away if possible.
- Do not remain silent and look the other way. Become an "active bystander"; confront friends who are becoming disrespectful or abusive; intervene if a friend may be in need of help.
- Speak out. Don’t allow others to make jokes about sexual assault, or derogatory comments which condone violence
- Support friends, family members and partners who have been assaulted. Listen to them and let them know about available resources. Contact the Sexual Assault Specialist at 217-581-3413.
Warning Signs of a Potential Perpetrator of Sexual
Violence May Include
- Acts too familiar with you
- Tries to isolate you from friends/group/et..
- Encourages substance abuse
- Forceful/aggressive behavior
- Stalking (in person, phone, social media)
- Shows other warning signs of a potential abuser (see potential warning signs of a potential interpersonal violence abuser)
Warning Signs of a Potential Stalker May Include
- Socially isolated
- Overly dependent upon only you
- Acts helpless or initiates your help
- A history of relationship violence and/or stalking
- Alcohol and/or drug abuse
- Often shows up at places you frequently go
- Cyber Stalking by calling/texting excessively, creeping/posting on social media
- Actual or threatened suicide attempts