Rape is defined as forced sexual intercourse; force may involve psychological coercion (being “talked into it”) as well as physical violence. This includes situations where the victim may be drunk, drugged, asleep, unconscious, or for any reason unable to say yes or no. It doesn’t matter if a girl dresses sexy or a guy is really “bombed,” sex without proper consent is RAPE. Period.
Additional information about Date Myths & Facts can be found on the Smarter Sex website.
Being Safe On Campus
Several things affect your safety on campus. Each campus is different. However, sexual assaults happen everywhere and can be committed by anyone. Just because someone looks like you and “seems” nice does not mean they are incapable of rape. Below are several things to keep in mind while on campus and in settings where alcohol is involved to avoid sexual assault.
On campus housing:
- Always lock your door. Never prop your door open if you leave or are asleep.
- Know your res hall. The dorms at PSU require quests to sign in and out. The doors to our Res Halls are always locked-don’t let strangers in.
- Your dorm room should be as safe as a hotel or apartment. This isn’t mom and dad’s house!
- If you are on campus late at night, use the campus shuttle. Know where the emergency phones are. You can call University Police to have them escort you to your Res Hall.
- Walk home with a friend that you know well.
- Avoid short cuts that are not well lit or are surrounded by bushes or other obstacles that may hinder your view.
- If you commute to school and are on campus late at night, make sure you park in a well-lit area. Avoid walking to your car alone.
- Check the back seat of your car before getting inside to make sure no one is hiding inside.
Safety at Parties
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- If you are planning to drink, bring a friend with you and leave with that same person. Know how you are going to get home.
- Date rape drugs, such as GHB or “roofies” are present on college campuses. If someone offers to get you a drink, go with him or her and watch him or her pour it. Never accept a drink from a random person. Keep an eye on your drink, don’t set your cup down to dance and come back to finish it later. You are better off wasting a drink then getting wasted and putting your safety at risk.
- Avoid being alone and be careful whom you invite back to your room. Do you really know this person? He may look like you, dress like you, even be best friends with your best friend, but do you really know him/her after one night?
- If you start to feel strange or unusually intoxicated, seek help from a friend. A stranger who offers to help you or escort you from the event could be someone who’s slipped you a drug and plans to do you harm.
- Avoid excessive drinking. Too much alcohol can affect your judgment.
Safety on Dates
As you know by now, the majority of rapes occur by people you know. If you are on a date with a stranger, meet the person in a public place and avoid being alone. You may be daydreaming about your next date, but your date may have different intentions. Get to know each other before you invite your date “upstairs”; not only is it a safer option, it also will mean that your relationship will be based on more than just sex.