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Yes, No, Maybe So… Communication (And Other Strategies) For Preventing Sexual Assault Presented by: UMKC Counseling Center 4825 Troost Building, Room 206.

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Presentation on theme: "Yes, No, Maybe So… Communication (And Other Strategies) For Preventing Sexual Assault Presented by: UMKC Counseling Center 4825 Troost Building, Room 206."— Presentation transcript:

1 Yes, No, Maybe So… Communication (And Other Strategies) For Preventing Sexual Assault Presented by: UMKC Counseling Center 4825 Troost Building, Room 206 Kansas City, MO

2 What do you think? Jamie and Chris are on their fifth date, watching a movie at Jamies apartment. They slept together on their previous date, and both enjoyed that very much. Things are going well on this date too; theyve had a few drinks, are a bit tipsy, and are laughing and having great conversation. After a while, they start kissing; then Jamie gradually starts to touch Chris in more intimate places. Chris doesnt stop this, but doesnt reciprocate either, and appears to shrink back a bit and to show more hesitation while kissing. What should Jamie do?

3 What do you think? This presentation will show how different parts of this scenario can relate to sexual assault and sexual safety. It will also give some strategies that Jamie and Chris (and you!) can use to enjoy themselves and stay safe in situations like this one.

4 Overview Definitions and prevalence of sexual assault What behavior is OK and what is not How to keep yourself safe If you have been assaulted… Quiz

5 Fact Or Myth? Who is most likely to be the perpetrator of a rape? Stranger Club/party attendant Acquaintance Intimate partner (click on your answer)

6 Fact Or Myth? Who is most likely to be the perpetrator of a rape? Stranger Club/party attendant Acquaintance Intimate partner According to the CDC, 30% of women who are raped for the first time are raped by intimate partners. 24% are raped by family members, and 20% are raped by acquaintances.

7 What is sexual assault? Any sexual activity where consent is absent or not freely given Includes unwanted touching, kissing, oral sex, or penetration (which is considered rape) Most (but not all) victims are female Anyone can commit sexual assault: a stranger, an acquaintance, a friend, a family member, or a significant other

8 What is sexual assault? A perpetrator might use physical force, threats, dishonesty, intimidation, or subtle pressure Sexual assault also happens when: – A person takes advantage of someone who is physically or mentally unable to give consent – A person uses their position of power, authority, or trust to get someone to participate in sexual acts Sexual assault can also result from lack of communication

9 What is consent? Consent is positive cooperation that is informed, freely and actively given, and mutually understood By Missouri law, consent cannot be given when a person is under the effect of alcohol or drugs Consent also cannot be given when a person: – Is unconscious or asleep – Has a mental or physical illness or deficiency that makes them unable to give consent

10 Fact Or Myth? What percentage of women are sexually assaulted while in college? 5% 10% 25% 40% (click on your answer)

11 Fact Or Myth? What percentage of women are sexually assaulted while in college? 5% 10% 25% 40% CDC data from Spring 2008 show that 20-25% of female college students have experienced attempted or completed sexual assault while in college

12 How common is sexual assault? Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault 11% of adult women and 2% of adult men report experiencing forced sex at some point in their lives 74% of women who are raped know their attackers

13 Fact Or Myth? Alcohol is involved in approximately 90% of sexual assaults in college True False (click on your answer)

14 Fact Or Myth? Alcohol is involved in approximately 90% of sexual assaults in college True False In about 90% of attempted or completed sexual assaults on college women, either the victim or the perpetrator are under the influence of alcohol Alcohol is the most commonly used date rape drug

15 Role of Alcohol and Drugs For potential perpetrators, alcohol can: – Cause them to misjudge their own arousal, or someone elses sexual desire – Lower self-control, which can lead to poor decision-making – Increase anger and contribute to aggression

16 Role of Alcohol and Drugs For potential victims, alcohol can lower perception and judgment, which can cause: – Difficulty communicating what they want and dont want – Difficulty judging others sexual intentions – Risky behavior (e.g., being alone with a stranger) – Poor recognition of danger – Difficulty responding to dangerous situations (e.g., leaving, fighting back)

17 Fact Or Myth? Its OK to kiss, touch, or have sex with someone, as long as they dont say no. True False (click on your answer)

18 Fact Or Myth? Its OK to kiss, touch, or have sex with someone, as long as they dont say no. True False Just because someone doesnt say no, doesnt mean they are saying yes. If you are unsure of what someone wants, the only way to know for sure is to ask.

19 Is my behavior OK? Never assume consent. If you are getting mixed messages, or are not sure what your partner wants for any reason, ASK. Clearly tell your partner that it is OK to say no. Clearly tell your partner what you want and do not want, and ask them to tell you the same. LISTEN to your partner and respect their wishes. Pay attention to nonverbal signs of discomfort or hesitation.

20 Is my behavior OK? If someone doesnt want to have sex with you, it doesnt mean they dont like you. They may just not be ready. Waiting can make your relationship stronger, and may make sex more fulfilling if/when it does happen. Have you ever done something you regretted while you were drunk? Alcohol and drugs can make it harder to make good sexual decisions. When youre drunk or high, its hard to: Judge how you feel Clearly tell your partner what you want and dont want Listen to your partner

21 Is my behavior OK? Both partners have the right to choose; it is never OK to force, pressure, or talk someone into having sex. No matter what theyre wearing No matter how drunk they are No matter how turned on you are Even if theyve had sex with you before Regardless of who paid for dinner THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS

22 What do you think? Jordan and Alex have been flirting in their English class all semester. Alex invites Jordan to a house party, where they drink, talk, and dance together much of the evening. At the end of the night, both of them are intoxicated. Alex appears sleepy, slurs words, and stumbles while walking, so Jordan helps Alex walk to a bedroom upstairs. – Is it OK for Jordan to make a move on Alex at this point? – How would this change if Jordan asked Alex out the next day instead?

23 Staying Safe At Parties and Bars Know how much you are drinking – Count your drinks, and alternate them with non- alcoholic beverages – Decide in advance how much you want to drink and stick to that number Know what you are drinking – Do not leave your drink alone – Do not accept drinks form others unless you saw them poured Count on your friends! – Use the buddy system to monitor each others alcohol consumption and safety

24 What do you think? Taylor and Casey have been dating for 8 months; they are sexually active and enjoy this part of their relationship. While they are in bed one night, Taylor begins to initiate sex, and Casey responds by moving away and saying, Is it OK if we just go to sleep tonight? Taylor is still turned on and continues to snuggle up to Casey and ask, Come on, why not? – Is it OK for Taylor to continue touching Casey at this point? – How would the situation be different if Taylor said Yeah, thats completely OK. Lets get some sleep?

25 Staying Safe With Partners and Dates Decide how far you are willing to go in advance, and stick to that. Tell your partner what you want, need, and expect, and what your limits are. This can be hard, but its important in order to avoid hurt feelings, negative experiences, and possible sexual assault. Be firm, clear, and direct. Feel free to say no at any time.

26 Staying Safe With Partners and Dates Watch for signs of trouble - emotional or verbal abuse usually comes before physical or sexual violence in relationships. Red flags to watch for include: – Disrespect - making fun, criticism, insults, bossiness, threats – Pressure – Attempts to control you – Ignoring your requests or limits (especially physical ones) – Unwillingness to compromise – Jealousy – Anger over small things; throwing or breaking things when angry – Alcohol or drug abuse

27 Staying Safe With Partners and Dates Stay around others until you know and trust your partner – Go on group dates – Only see your date in public places Always know where you are and how you can leave if you need to. Plan for what youll do if you begin to feel unsafe, and get help if necessary. You can call your friends, family, or the police. Notice and trust your feelings, like discomfort or fear. Act on the feelings - its better to make a scene than risk your safety.

28 Staying Safe With Partners and Dates Have a support system - someone you can call for help, or who can help you decide if a particular behavior is inappropriate or if a relationship is unhealthy Limit your use of alcohol and drugs - they can impair your judgment and ability to protect yourself Know that you can be assaulted – it doesnt just happen to other people

29 If You Have Been Assaulted… Common Reactions Include: – Shock and confusion – Fear, distrust of others – Helplessness and lack of control – Shame and embarrassment – Guilt, self-blame – Feelings of anger and betrayal – Denial – Nightmares, flashbacks, and insomnia – Depression, anxiety Reactions vary person to person

30 If You Have Been Assaulted… What you can do: – Right away: Get medical attention Seek support from someone you feel comfortable with If you decide to report the assault, call the police ASAP – You have the option to report an assault and/or press charges, but you do not have to – If you decide to report an assault, preserve evidence by avoiding showering, douching, or changing clothes until you have been examined and the evidence has been collected – Coping Strategies: Counseling Talking to friends and family Journaling Exercise Creative outlets (music, drawing, etc.)

31 Campus Resources UMKC Police: (or 911) UMKC Student Health Center: UMKC Counseling Center: UMKC Womens Center:

32 Community Resources Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault , 24-Hour Crisis Lines: (MO) and (KS) Also has counseling and sexual assault advocacy Medical Care St. Lukes, Plaza Hospital: (24 hours) Truman Medical Center, Hospital Hill: (24 hours) Police: 911

33 National Resources National Sexual Violence Resources Center – The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence – Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network – The Family Violence Prevention Fund –

34 Helping a Friend If a friend tells you they have been assaulted: – Believe them – people rarely lie about being assaulted – Listen and try to understand their feelings; do not judge, be patient and sensitive – Ask how you can help; offer them shelter and company; offer to accompany them to the police, hospital, counseling, etc. – Remind them that the assault is not their fault, and avoid questions that imply it was their fault (e.g., why did you go to his room, what were you wearing, why didnt you scream, etc.) – Empower them and help them regain control by letting them decide what to do

35 Take-Home Message Sexual assault is not 100% preventable BUT there is a lot you can do to minimize your risk of being assaulted or committing an assault

36 QUIZ! A sexual assault may have occurred when: – Someone doesnt want to perform oral sex but their date pressures them until they do Someone doesnt want to perform oral sex but their date pressures them until they do – A professor gets their student to touch them intimately in return for better grades A professor gets their student to touch them intimately in return for better grades – A person does not want to have sex with their spouse but is afraid to say no because the spouse has been abusive in the past A person does not want to have sex with their spouse but is afraid to say no because the spouse has been abusive in the past – Someone has sex with another person who is clearly very drunk Someone has sex with another person who is clearly very drunk – All of the above All of the above

37 QUIZ! A sexual assault may have occurred when: – Someone doesnt want to perform oral sex but their date pressures them until they do – A professor gets their student to touch them intimately in return for better grades – A person does not want to have sex with their spouse but is afraid to say no because the spouse has been abusive in the past – Someone has sex with another person who is clearly very drunk – All of the above

38 QUIZ! All of the following are ways that alcohol can increase the likelihood of a sexual assault EXCEPT: – It can be used intentionally as a date-rape drug It can be used intentionally as a date-rape drug – It can cause inability to control sexual and violent impulses It can cause inability to control sexual and violent impulses – Alcohol can impair a potential perpetrators ability to accurately read a partners sexual cues Alcohol can impair a potential perpetrators ability to accurately read a partners sexual cues – Alcohol can make it difficult for a potential victim to recognize and respond to signs of danger Alcohol can make it difficult for a potential victim to recognize and respond to signs of danger

39 QUIZ! All of the following are ways that alcohol can increase the likelihood of a sexual assault EXCEPT: – It can be used intentionally as a date-rape drug – It can cause inability to control sexual and violent impulses – Alcohol can impair a potential perpetrators ability to accurately read a partners sexual cues – Alcohol can make it difficult for a potential victim to recognize and respond to signs of danger

40 QUIZ! You can ensure that you have your partners consent for a sexual activity by: – Proceeding until they tell you that they want to stop Proceeding until they tell you that they want to stop – Asking if they are willing to participate in a particular sexual activity Asking if they are willing to participate in a particular sexual activity – Assuming that because theyve done that activity with you before, theyre willing to do it again Assuming that because theyve done that activity with you before, theyre willing to do it again – Reading their non-verbal cues Reading their non-verbal cues

41 QUIZ! You can ensure that you have your partners consent for a sexual activity by: – Proceeding until they tell you that they want to stop – Asking if they are willing to participate in a particular sexual activity – Assuming that because theyve done that activity with you before, theyre willing to do it again – Reading their non-verbal cues

42 QUIZ! You can reduce your risk of being sexually assaulted by: – Limiting your use of alcohol and other drugs at parties and on dates Limiting your use of alcohol and other drugs at parties and on dates – Deciding in advance how far you are willing to go with a partner Deciding in advance how far you are willing to go with a partner – Dating in public places and planning what you will do if you begin to feel unsafe Dating in public places and planning what you will do if you begin to feel unsafe – Clearly communicating your sexual expectations and limits with your partner Clearly communicating your sexual expectations and limits with your partner – All of the above All of the above

43 QUIZ! You can reduce your risk of being sexually assaulted by: – Limiting your use of alcohol and other drugs at parties and on dates – Deciding in advance how far you are willing to go with a partner – Dating in public places and planning what you will do if you begin to feel unsafe – Clearly communicating your sexual expectations and limits with your partner – All of the above

44 QUIZ! All of the following are healthy ways to cope if you are sexually assaulted EXCEPT: – Moving on with your life as if the assault never happened Moving on with your life as if the assault never happened – Talking to friends, family, or a counselor Talking to friends, family, or a counselor – Journaling Journaling – Exercise Exercise

45 QUIZ! All of the following are healthy ways to cope if you are sexually assaulted EXCEPT: – Moving on with your life as if the assault never happened – Talking to friends, family, or a counselor – Journaling – Exercise

46 QUIZ! What strategies or ideas from this program will you remember and use in your own life?

47 References Brooks-Harris, J. E. & Quemuel, C. A. (1998). Should we talk before we touch? A sexual assault prevention workshop for men and women. Retrieved June 26, 2009 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Sexual violence: Facts at a glance. Retrieved June 26, 2009 from Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (2007). MOCSA services [Brochure]. Kansas City, MO: Author. Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (2008). Professional sexual assault overview. Presented at the UMKC Counseling Center, Kansas City, MO. Missouri Partners in Prevention (n.d.). Women & Alcohol [Brochure]. Columbia, MO: Author. Möller, Gabriella (1998). Five smart steps to dating safely [Brochure]. ETR Associates. UMKC Womens Center. (n.d.). UMKC violence prevention and response [Brochure]. Kansas City, MO: Author. U.S. Department of Justice. (2007) National Crime Victimization Survey. Retrieved June 25, 2009 from


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