|Rape prevention versus rape risk reduction|
|Written by Gail Trimpe-Morrow|
|Thursday, 08 November 2012 13:49|
I am writing in follow up to the editorial printed in Monday’s edition of the Vidette, “Assaults, rapes preventable.” This is a significant issue on every college campus, an issue which needs to be discussed more openly and not with hushed, shamed voices.
Sex without consent is rape and an individual who is intoxicated is unable to give consent.
Only rapists can prevent rape, but there are strategies others can take to reduce the risk. There is, however, a significant difference between “prevention” and “risk reduction.” A failure to make this distinction leaves survivors of sexual violence feeling ashamed and responsible for being violated by failing to prevent their assault.
Several good risk reduction strategies were mentioned in your article — limiting the use of alcohol, avoiding “jungle juice” and walking with others. Additional safety strategies include avoiding drinking games, going out with friends and, more importantly, coming home with friends and not leaving friends behind or allowing them to wander off with someone they just met.
We can all play a role in reducing the incidence of sexual violence on our campus — educate yourself on the issue, talk with others, step in when you witness acts of disrespect or potential violence.
There are simple strategies which can create a distraction or remove the individual from a situation, while prioritizing your own safety. “Friendly Faces” is a program initiated by Student Counseling Services which seeks to create a more public dialogue about sexual violence while establishing an informed and supportive network of resources for survivors of sexual violence. For more information or to become a part of the solution, visit Counseling.IllinoisState.edu.