The following are examples of sexual violence with examples of how you could help:
There’s a party at your residence to welcome new comers. A girl you don’t recognise has had way too much to drink. A couple of guys walk over and one slides his hand up her skirt while the other opens the buttons on her shirt.
What To Say
- Confront the guys and tell them “leave her alone! She’s drunk.” Then stick around to see if they leave.
- Tell someone around you, like a friend, senior resident or leader, and get them to help you break up the situation.
- See if she is okay and tell her you are there to help
- See if she has any friends with her who can get her home safely
- When she is sober remind her that if she needs support she can contact the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on (02) 6247 2525
You’re taking the bus to work. Close by you see some guy hassling a woman. The bus is crowded but you definitely saw him cop a feel of her arse. By the discomfort on her face you know it wasn’t welcome. The woman looks frustrated and embarrassed. You can tell she wants to move away but the bus is packed.
What To Say
- If it is safe you could confront the guys by telling them that their actions are wrong, unacceptable, and harmful.
- Help the woman to move away from him.
- See if she is okay and ask her if she would like to seek help.
- Tell someone in authority, like the bus driver.
- Suggest they debrief with a friend or call the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre for Support on (02) 6247 252
Tonight’s your first date with a person you met online. Drinks, food, and a good dose of flirting – nothing more. They seem charming, but you decide to play it slow. The bill arrives. You both reach for it but they pick it up and say “my treat”. You offer to chip in but they still refuse. You feel uncomfortable but let it slide.
As you are saying your goodbyes they invite you back to their place for a “night cap”. You’re not keen so you tell them you really need to be getting home. They step closer, hold you by the waist uncomfortably and say “well I think you owe me a kiss at least”.
You don’t owe your date anything! Irrespective of who pays, chooses the activity, or gives a lift – you have a choice!
This type of behaviour is manipulation. Pressuring someone into sexual activity is sexual violence (which includes any unwanted touching or sexual comments).
If you feel pressured into participating in any kind of sexual activity, you must be aware this is not your fault. If you are sexually assaulted it is not your fault, regardless of the relationship, situation, or circumstances.
Before the date
- Get as much exposure to your date as you can. e.g. chatting on the phone and not just messaging.
- Let someone know you are going. Details to include are:
- Who you are going with
- Where you are going
- When you are going
- When you anticipate to come home
- Meet in a public place when other people are around
- Plan how will you get home without relying on your date for a lift. Have the means to do so if necessary.
On the date
- Keep your eye on your drink and discard of any drink you are not sure about
- Consider how much you want to drink based on your circumstances. Alcohol is often used as a tool to perpetrate sexual violence. It also lowers your ability to protect yourself against unwanted, unplanned, unprotected and forced sexual activity.
- Bring enough cash to contribute to the outing experience
- If you feel unsure about your date most bars and clubs encourage you to tell a member of staff (bar or floor staff) and if needed they can help call you a ride quickly and discreetly.
What To Say - if your date tries something
- If you can, asses the situation. Do you feel safe enough to call out their behaviour? Are there people around who can help you (bar staff, patrons, security)
- Call out the behaviour by using a confident voice and strong body language. If you can, don’t be afraid to make a scene. Often people freeze up in these situations so if you are unable to call it out that is okay. Don’t blame yourself.
- Ask venue staff for help
- Debrief with someone you know, like a friend, or call the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre for support on (02) 6247 2525