Title IX - Risk Reduction Strategies

Strategies

  • Attend self-defense training programs provided for free on campus and practice self-defense skills regularly.
  • Avoid walking alone whenever possible.
  • Make sure your cell phone is easily accessible and fully charged. Save the number for campus security in your phone. (913-360-8888)
  • Lock your door and windows when you go to sleep and when you are not in the room.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
  • Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
  • Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
  • Carry a small noisemaker (like a whistle) and/or flashlight on your keychain.
  • If walking feels unsafe, call campus security for an escort.
  • Avoid isolated and dimly lit areas (stairways, laundry rooms, basement, etc.) when you are alone.

Virtuous behavior

  • More than 50 percent of all reported sexual assault cases nationally involve alcohol. Moderation and responsible behavior when drinking alcohol is critical.
  • The College encourages students to live in line with Catholic moral teaching about sexuality. We urge students to respect themselves and others. Never engage in immoral sexual activity, including sexual activity without the free and full consent of both persons.

The majority of sexual offenses that occur on campus communities are committed by people known by their victims.  Often, these types of assaults are not reported to police or campus authorities because people do not think this unwanted sexual contact constitutes sexual assault since they know the assailant.  These assailants, however, are able to continue to exploit people by manipulating that trust.  By reporting these incidents, you will significantly decrease the likelihood that this individual can subject another person to this type of victimization.

As a Catholic college devoted to upholding human dignity, we strive to create a college atmosphere that encourages service to the common good, respect for the individual, and virtuous friendships.  We recognize that sexual activity between unmarried persons “. . is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2353)  If you find yourself in an uncomfortable sexual situation, these suggestions may help you reduce your risk:

  • Make your limits known before going too far.
  • You can withdraw consent to sexual activity at any time.  Do not be afraid to tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and loudly.
  • Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.  Be direct as possible about wanting to leave the environment.
  • Grab someone nearby and ask them for help.
  • Be responsible about your alcohol and/or drug use.  Alcohol and drugs can lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views an intoxicated/high person as a sexual opportunity.
  • Attend large parties with friends you trust.  Watch out for your friends and ask that they watch out for you.
  • Be aware of someone trying to slip you an incapacitating “rape drug” like Rohypnol or GHB. 

If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, these suggestions may help you to reduce your risk of being accused of sexual assault or another sexual crime:

  • Remember that you owe sexual respect to the other person.
  • Don’t make assumptions about the other person’s consent or about how far they are willing to go.
  • Remember that consent to one form of sexual activity does not necessarily imply consent to another form of sexual behavior.
  • If your partner expresses a withdrawal of consent, stop immediately.
  • Clearly communicate your sexual intentions so that the other person has a chance to clearly tell you their intentions.
  • Consider “mixed messages” a clear sign that the other person is uncomfortable with the situation and may not be ready to progress sexually.
  • Don’t take advantage of someone who is really drunk or on drugs, even if they knowingly and intentionally put themselves in that state.  Further, don’t be afraid to step in if you see someone else trying to take advantage of a nearly incapacitated person.
  • Be aware of the signs of incapacitation, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, vomiting, unusual behavior, passing out, staggering, etc.

It is also important to be aware of the warning signs of an abusive person.  Some examples include:

  • Past abuse
  • Threats of violence or abuse
  • Breaking objects
  • Using force during an argument
  • Jealousy
  • Controlling behavior
  • Quick involvement
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Isolation
  • Blames others for problems
  • Hypersensitive
  • Cruelty to animals or children
  • “Playful” use of force during sex
  • Jekyll-and-Hyde personality

Individuals are encouraged to take safe and positive steps to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking against another person. This includes reporting such incidents to appropriate authorities. Other steps that can be taken include:

  • Look out for those around you.
  • Realize that it is important to intervene to help others.
  • Treat everyone respectfully. Do not be hostile or antagonist.
  • Be confident when intervening.
  • Recruit help from others if necessary.
  • Be honest and direct.
  • Keep yourself safe.
  • If things get out of hand, don’t hesitate to contact the police.
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