Sexual Violence is any
unwanted or non-consensual exploitation, or act of intrusion
into the physical, emotional or spiritual realms of a person's
sexuality. The definition of sexual violence is based upon
a continuum of violence ranging from sexual harassment to rape
and murder. It is important to understand that sexual violence
may include the actual use or threat of physical force, however
neither of these has to be used for sexual violence to occur.
Often some type of violence is used for intimidation, persuasion
or manipulation purposes.
Sexual Assault refers to an act of sexual
violence perpetrated against an adult or a child by any person.
Rape refers to non-consensual sexual intrusion
or penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of the victim. The
weapon can be a penis, tongue, finger, or any other object. Rape
is actually a crime of power and control having nothing to do
Acquaintance/Date Rape is
any sexual violence that occurs without consent between
people who know each other.
What is Consent?
- To consent means to give approval and to
agree by free will.
- Consent is based on choice.
- It is active, not passive.
- In consent, both parties must be equally
free to act.
- Both parties must be fully conscious and
have clearly communicated their consent.
- Submission under the influence of fear,
intoxicants or coercion is also not consent.
- Going along with someone because of
wanting to fit in, feeling bad or being deceived is not
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome and demeaning
sexually related behavior that creates an intimidating, hostile
and/or offensive work or school environment.
Sexual Harassment includes a
wide range of behaviors including:
- Touching, grabbing or pinching in a
- Staring or leering
- Spreading sexual rumors
- Comments about the size of one's breasts,
- Name-calling (slut, whore, fag, etc.)
- Obscene sexual gestures
- Obscene or degrading jokes
- Cartoons or pictures that are sexual and
- Sexual messages and graffiti
- Catcalls, whistles
- Bra-snapping, wedgies
- Forcing a kiss on someone
- Pressure for sexual favors
- Sexual bribery, sexual coercion
- Flashing, mooning, depantsing
The victim defines what is
Each person decides for
him or herself what is unwelcome and makes one feel
uncomfortable. Only you know how you feel by the way someone
is treating you.
Two people may feel
differently about the same comment. What may be a compliment
to one may feel like a put down to someone else.
The same comment can also
feel welcome or unwelcome depending upon who is saying it.
Because the victim defines
sexual harassment, it may not always be clear to the harasser
that their behavior is unwanted. For this reason, it is very
important for the victim to tell the harasser to stop and make
it clear that this is harassment. If the behavior continues and
the victim decides to pursue legal or administrative action,
their case will be much stronger if they have said no.
Keep in mind that there are very legitimate reasons why someone
may not feel free to say no (possible job loss, bad grade,
further harassment, other consequences).
If it is unwanted, it is
still sexual harassment even if the victim never said no.
SUBSTANCE-RELATED SEXUAL ASSAULT
The prevalence of
drug-facilitated sexual assaults is on the rise nationwide.
Perpetrators use drugs on potential victims in order to make it
easier to accomplish a sexual assault. Over 36 drugs have been
identified as being used in drug-facilitated sexual assaults
The following are some of
the substances being used:
- Alcohol is the #1 drug used in drugged
facilitated sexual assaults
- Over the counter medications
- Benzodiazepines - Rohypnol
- Gamma-hydroxybutyrate - GHB
- Gamma-butyrolactone - GBL
- 78% Unconscious
- 57% Amnesia
- 32% Drowsiness
date rape drugs are currently being used in
Grand County. Besides alcohol, over the counter medications are
the most frequently used.
Other drugs commonly used in drug-facilitated
sexual assaults are:
used for sleep disorders, pre-anesthetic: used in 80
countries worldwide: not approved in the United States.
Central nervous system depressant: originally used as a
surgical anesthetic and in studies for narcolepsy treatment.
Often used in clubs as a party drug.
It is illegal to manufacture or distribute, however, it is
not illegal to possess or use.
The most commonly found forms are a white powder or clear
It has an unpleasant salty taste.
Other Commonly Used
GBL: dietary supplement, claims to improve sleep and sex,
anesthetic in veterinary medicine, liquid in pharmaceutical
form, sometimes used as a powder. Often used in clubs as a
HOW TO REDUCE
THE RISK OF DRUG-FACILITATED RAPE
- Do not leave drinks unattended.
- Do not share or exchange drinks with
- Do not take any beverages from someone
you do not know well and trust.
- When at a bar, accept drinks only from
the bartender, waiter/waitress. If possible, monitor how
your drink is prepared.
- At parties, do not accept open container
drinks from anyone and do not accept a drink from a punch
bowl or keg.
- Develop a "buddy" system with friends and
look out for each other. Be alert to the behavior of
friends. Anyone appearing disproportionately inebriated in
relation to the amount of alcohol she/he has consumed may be
- If you believe you have consumed a date
rape drug, you should be driven to an emergency room or call
- If you wake up and cannot remember what
happened the night before, get tested immediately.
HOW TO HELP A
FRIEND WHO IS A VICTIM
- Encourage the victim to tell the story in
her/his own way.
- Allow silence - time for the victim to
think, get in touch with feelings and decide how to express
thoughts and feelings.
- Realize that she/he might not solve
problems the same way that you would; leave your
- Respond in a supportive and accepting way
to whatever you hear.
- Stay calm when discussing the issue.
- Be present, listen rather than think
about what you're going to say.
- Honor what the victim states and feels
about the incident(s). Victims rarely lie about relationship
abuse or its impact on them.
- Respect what is being said as an account
of the victim's personal and unique experience.
- Believe that she/he has been seriously
impacted by the abuse and is not over-reacting.
- Be non-judgmental in response to the
victim's beliefs and decisions.
- Acknowledge that the victim may have
positive feelings for the abuser; criticize abusive behavior
rather than the person.
- Share information about the dynamics of
- Help the victim recognize the abuse,
understand that it is wrong and know that she/he does not
deserve to be hurt or blamed for the abuse, no matter what.
- Express your concern for the victim's
safety and well-being and help them to develop a safety
- Provide emotional support; help the
victim clarify feelings.
- Offer options and accept that the
victim's decisions are right for her/him at the time, and
support those decisions.
- Understand that getting free takes time.
- Affirm the victim's strength in surviving
- Encourage the belief that change is
possible and that the victim has the right to control
his/her own life.
- Provide helpful resource information.
- Call the police if you witness an
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