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Definitions of Interpersonal Violence

Preventing Interpersonal Violence

Preventing sexual assault and other forms of relationship violence is everyone’s business. We all have the responsibility — to ourselves and to those around us — to reduce risks and prevent occurrences.

Here is some useful information about preventing sexual assault:

  • Take responsibility for ensuring that sex is consensual by listening to your sexual partner. Direct communication is the best way to make sure the activity you are about to engage in is consensual. If you feel you are receiving mixed messages from your partner, take responsibility for getting clarification.
  • Be aware of the role of alcohol in sexual assault and be especially careful in situations involving alcohol or other drugs. Remember that alcohol and other drugs can interfere with one’s ability to think and communicate clearly (this goes for both you and your partner). Engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who is unable to give consent for any reason constitutes rape.
  • Having sex with a person who is drugged, intoxicated or unconscious is considered rape.
  • Be especially careful in situations involving group peer pressure. Be aware of your own responsibility regarding the behavior of any group you are involved in.
  • Remember that sexual assault is a crime. Regardless of any cultural or social messages you may have heard, and despite your own physical urgency, it’s illegal to force someone to have sex.
  • Don’t assume someone wants to have sex with you just because that person is dressed provocatively or has had sex with you previously.
  • Don’t assume someone wants to have sex with you just because he/she invites you to his/her room.
  • Don’t assume someone is consenting to sexual intercourse just because he/she consents to kissing or other sexual activities.
  • Be aware of American cultural myths about sexual interaction and make sure you don’t fall for them. Be sure to review our Myths vs. Facts webpage for additional information.




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Interpersonal Violence Prevention

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Last Updated: 10/20/14