College / Work Parties and Sex

Actions to prevent sexual assault (sex without consent) during holidays

It’s the end of the year – more parties to go – more alcohol available – which may impair men’s ability to make sound decisions and lower their sexual inhibitions. At times, some men (or even women) may become more forceful upon a person and try to engage in sexual acts without consent, especially when the victim is incapable of giving consent (aka drunk or drugged).

Here are some things you can do to prevent sexual assault

  1. Never go to a blind date in a place you don’t know – Go in groups or to a public place.
  2. Have a charged cell phone with you. Have a buddy to come get you if needed.
  3. Have money for a taxi, or ride apps available to you.
  4. Listen to your gut feelings (that “Huh…” your stomach tells you). Leave immediately.
  5. Have an “outing buddy” – agree watching over one another and will return home together. If your buddy sees you leaving with someone, have them step in and take you away from the situation.
  6. If you see yourself in a situation that is leading to sexual assault, know you have a right to say “NO”, no matter how far you have gone. Communicate limits firmly and directly. Leave immediately.

Now, if you are on the other side of the coin

  1. Don’t assume that someone going out on a date with you wants to have sex with you.
  2. Be clear of what your intentions are in words, not in actions.
  3. “NO” means no, especially if you have never had sex with the person before.
  4. A person who is drunk or drugged CANNOT give consent for sex. Leave immediately.
  5. Consent for sex is NOT permission for all types of sexual activity. Some people may choose NOT to partake in oral sex, anal sex, rough sex, group sex, etc.

If you are a friend or bystander

Consider getting involved if you think someone is at risk for sexual assault – someone you see is drunk or drugged – as they cannot give consent for sex.

  1. Approach everyone with a friendly stance and be honest and direct “I think (so and so) is in need to take a break /to go home – as she/he had enough for tonight – let me call a cab or get her/him a ride home.”
  2. Keep yourself safe. Don’t be aggressive or use violence.
  3. Get others to help you with the situation.
  4. Call the police if necessary.

What if that already happened to you

  1. If it happened in the 24-h frame – go to the hospital and ask to talk to a social worker responsible for sexual assault. Ask for a ‘rape kit’.
  2. If it happened more than 24-h, call a non-emergency police phone number and inquire steps to take if you believe you suffered a sexual assault.
  3. Most importantly, talk about the event – with family, with friends, and with a THERAPIST. The more you talk about it, the faster it will be your healing.

It’s VERY important to remember that it is not because you were drunk, or drugged, dressed sexy, or behaved provocatively, that you were warranted a sexual assault!  Sexual assault is a crime and only criminals will take advantage of a delicate situation.

If you are a stand-up citizen and you see a car unlock, a wallet lost, or a window open, you’d pass by them or you’d try to help with the situation, not take advantage of it – same for sexual assault. Only deviants take advantage and force themselves upon others.

*Blog derived from Hillsborough Community College Sexual Assault Pocket Pal

If you need to talk about your experience, please contact

Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove

Florida Licensed Clinical Psychologist

(813) 613-8587

www.marzullodove.com

 

12/12/2019

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