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What I can do in Acquaintance Rape Prevention

What I can do in Acquaintance Rape Prevention

A. Challenge the Attitudes That Make Rape Acceptable

1. Resist sexist attitudes. Attitudes which suggest that women exist solely for the pleasure of men, or that a woman’s role is to improve the quality of a man’s life become part of a rapist’s justification.

2. Don’t make or laugh at degrading jokes. Men and women who make abusive comments or use sexist language to describe others contribute to the conditions that make violence so widespread. Voice your opposition to such language.

3. Challenge abusive behavior when you see it. Men and women respond to social pressure from their peers. Actively resisting abusive behavior through one-to-one confrontation, policy-making in your community, and public activism are all appropriate courses of action for people committed to stopping rape.

B. Examine Your Own Sexual Behavior and Responsibility

1. Your sexual desires may be beyond your control but your actions are within your control. Sexual excitement does not justify forced sex.

2. It is never OK to force sex with your partner. Even if:

-your partner says “no” and you think he/she means “yes”.
-you have had sex with your partner before.
-you’ve paid for dinner or given your partner expensive gifts.
-you think people enjoy being forced to have sex, or need to be persuaded.
-your partner is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
-your partner “teases” you, dresses “provocatively” or “leads you on.”

3. If you are getting a double message from a person, speak up. Clarify what your partner wants. If you find yourself in a situation with a person who is unsure about having sex or is saying “no,” back off. Suggest talking about it.

4. Allow your partner to make their own decision. If your partner is unsure about whether he /she wants sex, emotional coercion or “guilt-tripping” is a form of sexual abuse.

5. Do not make assumptions. Your partner may welcome some forms of sexual contact and be opposed to others. Don’t assume that one form of sexual contact necessarily opens the door to any sexual contact. There may be several kinds of sexual activity you might mutually agree to share.

6. Communicate. If your partner understands your sexual interest and expectations, he/she will be able to respond honestly and directly.

7. Before having sex, take inventory. Ask yourself, “How will I feel if my partner later tells me that he/she did not want to have intercourse?” If you have any doubts about what your partner wants, STOP, ASK, and CLARIFY.

8. No one asks to be raped. No matter how a person behaves, he/she does not deserve to have their body violated.

9. “No” means no. If you do not accept a “no,” you risk raping someone whom you thought meant “yes.”

10. Consent means having the ability to make a decision. Engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent (drunk, for example) is rape. If a woman or man has passed out, or is not in control, having sex with him/her is a crime.

11. Intoxication is no excuse. The fact that you were intoxicated is not a legal defense to rape. You are responsible for your actions, whether or not you are sober.

12. Be responsible about physical advantage. Many survivors of rape report that the fear they felt based on the aggressors size and presence was the reason why they did not fight back or struggle.

13. Do not assume his or her desire for affection is the same as a desire for intercourse.

NOTE: Men can be victims of rape and have the same rights to counseling and legal action as women do.



This information was prepared by Bucknell University’s Women’s Resource Center and Susquehann Valley Women in Transition.