Sexual assault remains a significant problem on college campuses. At least half of all sexual assault cases involve alcohol and the majority of them occur between people who know each other, most often in a dating situation. Read the following tips to learn about steps you can take to help prevent rape and other forms of sexual assault.
No one who experiences a sexually-charged assault is ever to blame for the actions of their attacker, but alcohol use makes everyone more vulnerable to becoming a victim. Alcohol impairs your judgment, reflexes, and response time, so you should drink in moderation and always have a trusted group of friends around when you drink. Always have a sober friend with you — regardless of whether or not you require a designated driver — so this friend can use their sober judgment to help keep you safe. For information about alcohol and other drugs, see drug and alcohol education from University Health Services.
Be careful who you trust
Even if you have a class with someone or know them through a friend, you probably don’t have a complete sense of their character. Never let a relatively unknown person make you a drink, or spend time alone with you when you are incapacitated or depressed, thereby vulnerable.
Sign up for Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.)
R.A.D. courses are hands-on classes de¬signed to teach women self-defense techniques proven effective against much larger attackers. UTPD offers free R.A.D. courses to female students, faculty, and staff, so sign up online.
Keep your aggression (and your alcohol consumption) in check
Alcohol can increase aggression. In fact, between 75 and 90 percent of all violence on campus is alcohol-related. Although alcohol itself doesn’t cause violence, many people are more likely to act out their violent feelings when they drink. This increased aggression means that some people are more likely to be sexually violent when they drink. Research has found that when men are under the influence of alcohol, they are likely to interpret a variety of verbal and nonverbal cues as evidence that women are interested in having sex with them. This inaccurate interpretation coupled with increased violence could have dangerous — and illegal — results, so you should always drink in moderation and pay attention to the way alcohol affects you. If you notice that you or anyone you know become more violent under the influence of alcohol, check out University Health Services’ help page or call the Behavior Concerns Advice Line at 512-232-5050 for anonymous advice.
Voices Against Violence
Voices Against Violence (VAV) addresses issues of relationship violence, sexual violence and stalking. VAV programs are designed to serve the needs of the diverse UT population with information, education, training, advocacy, counseling and referral services.
Need to speak to someone?
If you or someone you know would like more information on Voices Against Violence (VAV) services, including individual counseling, group counseling and advocacy please call the Counseling and Mental Health Center at 512-471-3515. When you call, ask for a VAV appointment. If this is an emergency, please call 911. If you need to speak with someone immediately, you can walk in to the Counseling and Mental Health Center M-F, 8am-4pm. UT students can reach a telephone counselor 24/7/365 at 512-471-CALL (2255) You have a right to a safe education at the University of Texas at Austin.