||Face it, sex is one confusing
issue. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's scary. And unfortunately,
sometimes it turns violent. Our awareness campaign aims to stimulate
the discussion and mutual consent necessary to end the confusion and
violence that taint one too many sexual encounters. Our goal is to
provide words and ways to achieve healthy communication as well as
support and assistance for preventing sexual violence.|
Last spring, we held focus groups with UC
Davis students to find out their feelings on sexual consent, personal
responsibility, and sexual assault on campus. Women students felt that
the terms "rape" and "sexual assault" didn't always comfortably or
"accurately" describe their experiences with coerced or forced sex. Men
felt that women needed to be clearer about their sexual boundaries in
the beginning of a sexual encounter and that there were unwritten rules
regarding consent. Reinforcing that while the stereotypical rape by a
stranger is rare, students are being "pushed" into sex, often taken
advantage of while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
This fall in the research phase of a CD Rom
project, we screened 200 students about their opinion and perception of
rape and sexual pressure on campus, see What's New/Contact
In a study surveying more than 6,000 students at 32 colleges and universities in the U.S.(2):
- The highest rate of intimate partner violence is among women ages 16-24. (1)
- 84% of those raped knew their attacker, and over half of the rapes happened on dates
- Less than a third of the women whose sexual assault met the legal definition of rape thought of themselves as rape victims.
you call it "sexual assault" or a "mistake", it's wrong. And that's why
we're urging both men and women to think, and talk before you touch.
Define your sexual limits out loud. Intervene when you feel someone is
being forced into a sexual situation they'll regret. After all, sex
should never be about regret.
Where's the line for you? How do you define "sexual assault"? Tell us what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
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(1) "Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends." Bureau of Justice Statistics Factbook. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. (1998). p. 13.
(2) Robin Warshaw. 1994. I Never Called
It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting and Surviving Date and
Acquaintance Rape. New York: Harper Perennial.