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Reducing the Risk of Sexual Assault

The best way to protect yourself is to use your head. Be assertive. Make sure you communicate your desires and limits clearly.

  • You always have the right to set sexual limits in any relationship
  • Be wary of behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Trust your instincts: if the behavior persists, leave and make sure you are not followed. If you are followed, go to a public area. If you feel you cannot comfortably leave, alert someone who you trust to the situation and ask them to keep an eye on you
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol and other drugs in situations where you don't know and trust everyone
  • Never accept drinks from anyone unless you see them being poured
  • Be aware of your surroundings: do not assume that you are always safe
  • Vary your routines whenever possible
  • Try not to walk alone at night. If you must, walk in lighted areas. Walk at a steady pace and look confident. If you are on campus, you can call for an escort from Public Safety
  • Keep your doors and windows (both home and car) locked whenever possible
  • Use the buddy system when going to parties
  • If you are in danger, scream, make noise, blow a whistle or any other attention-getter you can think of


  • Recognize when someone is too far under the influence to give consent
  • It is never too late for someone to change their mind or say "no"; respect their right to do so
  • An individual's attire or behaviour is never the equivalent of coherent, verbal consent
  • Always ask permission before pursuing any action that may be unwanted or unwelcome
  • Never supply someone with alcohol or drugs with the intent of making them unable to coherently consent
  • If you feel you are too far under the influence to control your actions, remove yourself from the situation
  • Alcohol and/or drug influence is never an excuse for sexual assault or rape