Information and awareness are key to the prevention of sexual assault. By familiarizing yourself with this information, you will be contributing to a safe and healthy environment on Wheaton's campus.
- Be clear and assertive. Communicate your expectations and desires clearly and assertively.
- Inform your friends. Use your friends as accountability as you begin and continue to date.
- Trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.
- Pay attention to what you hear. A person may have a bad reputation for a reason.
- Be aware of your surroundings, and take precautions. For example, if you’d like to jog at night, go with friends or take advantage of Public Safety’s shuttle service.
- Educate yourself. Learn about gender inequality and sexual violence and work to be proactive to speak against it.
- Don’t objectify people. Refuse to purchase any magazines, videos, or music that portray women or men in a degrading or violent manner.
- Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged.
Alcohol and Parties
- Avoid alcohol and/or partying. The College does not permit undergraduate students to drink alcohol and expects graduate students to abstain or drink alcohol in moderation.
- Avoid being alone. Arrive together, check in with each other throughout the evening, and leave together. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad situation.
- Step in and help. If you see someone in trouble step in and offer assistance. NOTE: Before stepping in, make sure to evaluate the risk. If it means putting yourself in danger, call Public Safety (630.752.5911) instead.
- Do not drive with someone who has been drinking. Make sure you always have a safe ride home or a plan to walk home with a friend or roommate.
- If you happen to be in a setting where people are drinking, do not accept a beverage that you did not get yourself or leave a drink unattended. Date-rape drugs can leave you unable to protect yourself, or even know what is happening to you.
Misconceptions About Sexual Assault
Myth: Sexual assault only happens at public schools and not at Christian schools.
Fact: Though not at the level of public schools, Christian schools do have incidents of sexual assault every year.
Myth: The victim must have “asked for it” by being seductive, careless, drunk, high, etc.
Fact: No one asks to be abused, injured, or humiliated. This line of thought blames the victim for what happened instead of the perpetrator who chose to commit the crime.
Myth: Most sexual assaults are strangers to their victims.
Fact: Most sexual assault/rapes are committed by someone the victim knows: a classmate, friend, acquaintance, co-worker, spouse.
Myth: When people say no, they really mean yes.
Fact: No means No! Silence does not equal consent. Only Yes means Yes. Respecting one another is of utmost importance.
Myth: “Good” people don't get assaulted/raped. Only “bad” ones do.
Fact: Rape is an attack in which the victim's life is controlled by the attacker. No person asks for or deserves such an assault.
Myth: Any person could prevent rape if he or she really wanted to; no person can be assaulted/raped against his or her will.
Fact: The first concern of a victim is to survive, to live through the attack. The victim cannot know what the perpetrator is capable of doing. We should not criticize victims for doing what they feel is necessary to save their life.
Myth: Rape is caused by the perpetrator’s uncontrollable sexual urge.
Fact: Very few perpetrators are of unsound mind and/or out of touch with reality. Rapes may be planned or carried out by acquaintances, intimate partners, family members or strangers.
Myth: If the victim did not physically struggle with or fight the assailant, it wasn’t really rape.
Fact: Perpetrators are not looking for a fight and they use many forms of coercion, threats, and manipulation to rape. Alcohol and other drugs are often used to coerce their victims.
Myth: Only young, beautiful women in provocative clothing get assaulted/raped. It can't happen to me.
Fact: Victims are not limited to dressing in a particular way and are every age, gender, shape, race and social class.
Adapted from http://sapac.umich.edu/article/52