Increasing Community Safety While Reducing Risk Factors on Campus
Reducing incidences of sexual and relationship violence on college campuses requires a multifaceted approach that includes both empowering and cultivating a community that cares for one another, and addressing risk factors associated with sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and personal safety. UCR firmly believes that no one is ever at fault or responsible for experiencing sexual violence. We recognize that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for such conduct. The following protective and risk-reduction strategies are offered in order to encourage healthy and safe encounters as well as to mitigate the risk of experiencing or perpetrating sexual violence as outlined by best practices in violence prevention education models.
If you or your friends are on campus, consider:
- Being aware of what's going on around you at all times. If possible, don’t wear headphones or be distracted by texting or talking on the phone.
- Most colleges employ a system of emergency call boxes across the campus. Familiarize yourself with UCR’s emergency system and callbox locations so that you know what to do and where to go in case of a sudden emergency.
- Walking or running on well-traveled and well-populated routes when moving around campus. At night, take routes that you're fully familiar with and, if possible, take a friend. Campus Safety Escorts provides students, faculty and staff alike with a free, safe and reliable way to travel across campus at night.
- Attending a workshop on sexual assault risk reduction offered on campus. Check out our training and programs for more information.
If you or your friends live in a residential hall or apartment, consider:
- Checking that the main entrance to your residence hall or apartment remains locked at all times. Main entrances tend to be monitored frequently. Talk with your RA if you notice the main entrance is left unlocked or isn't being properly monitored.
- Keeping your dorm room or apartment locked, especially when you're alone in the room or sleeping.
- If you lose your apartment or room key, getting your locks replaced as soon as possible.
- If you have a car, parking in a safe, well-lit location and keeping it locked at all times.
- If you’ve had the windows open while at home, closing them before you leave the room or apartment.
- Using Social Media and Technology
- At Social Events and Parties
In Sexual Relationships
If you or your friends are engaging in sexual activity:
- Clearly communicate your intentions to your potential partner and give them a chance to clearly communicate their intentions to you.
- Listen carefully. Take time to hear what your potential partner has to say. If you feel you're receiving unclear or conflicting messages from the other person, you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate clearly.
- Don't assume that you have consent for sexual activity just because someone leaves or goes to a private location with you.
- Understand and respect personal boundaries and don't make assumptions about consent. Don't pressure a potential partner.
- Consider that your potential partner could be intimidated by you or be fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender, status or size.
- Understand that consent to one form of sexual activity doesn't constitute consent for any other sexual activity.
- Silence and passivity can't be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language. If it's not clear by your potential partner's words and/or actions that they're a willing participant in that specific activity, then stop and have a conversation.