If you find yourself in an uncomfortable sexual situation, these suggestions may help you to reduce your risk:
If you have limits, make them known before things go too far.
You can stop consenting to sexual activity at ANY time. Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and loudly, like you mean it.
Try to extricate yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor. Be as direct as possible about wanting to leave the environment.
Grab someone nearby and ask for help.
Be responsible for your alcohol intake/drug use and realize that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
Watch out for your friends and ask that they watch out for you. A real friend will get in your face if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them if they do.
Be aware of incapacitating drugs like Rohypnol and GHB. Go to www.911rape.org to find out more.
The campus community should contact the Conway Police Department (501-450-6120) for listings and information regarding registered sex offenders, or visit the Arkansas Crime Information Center's website.
If going on a date with someone fairly new to you, consider taking separate vehicles. If the date is not going well you have the freedom to leave at any time. Always let a friend or family member know who you are going on a date with, where you are going, what time you are expected back home and call when you have returned home. If plans change while on the date then let your family member or friend know of the change of plans.
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:
1. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS About consent; About someone’s sexual availability; About whether they are attracted to you; About how far you can go; About whether they are physically and mentally able to consent to you.
2. Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you. Your partner can stop consenting to sexual activity at ANY time. Respect that request IMMEDIATELY.
3. Mixed messages from your partner should be a clear indication that you should step back, defuse the sexual tension, and communicate better. Perhaps you are misreading them. Perhaps they haven’t figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You need to respect the timeline with which they are comfortable
4. Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves. Likewise, if you see a person "getting someone drunk" to facilitate a hook-up, speak up. You'll save both parties from a potentially devastating turn of events.
5. Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don’t abuse that power. If you are in a sexual situation and your partner indicates he or she needs to leave, allow that person to leave without hinderance. He or she may be uncomfortable, but reluctant to express that to you.
6. Understand that consent to some forms of sexual behavior does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual behavior.
7. On this campus, silence and passivity cannot be interpreted by you as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.
8. There is a world of difference between seduction and coercion. Seduction implies that both people involved are “playing the same game.” Coercion on the other hand occurs when one person does not want to “play along.” Seduction becomes coercion; coercion begins not when the sexual advance is made, but when someone pushes past the point of realization that the person does not want to be convinced.
9. In order to consent, you and your partner must know the: who, what, where, when, why, and how of the sexual activity that is about to transpire.
10. The age of consent in Arkansas is 16 years of age. Don't EVER have sexual contact with anyone younger than that. If in doubt about a person’s age, don’t do it.
11. A person may appear to be conscious even if they are blacked out. Play it safe and don’t pursue sexual activity with that person at that time. If you make sexual contact with someone who is blacked out, you have assaulted them in the eyes of the law.
Here are some clues to help you know if a person is incapacitated:
• Quantity of alcohol/drugs consumed
• Slurred speech
• Bloodshot eyes
• Unusual behavior (e.g., acting markedly different from one's typical personality)
• Passing out