Skip to Main Content

What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Sexual Assault?

  • Don't leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
  • When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Don't allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don't know or trust.
  • Think about the level of intimacy you want in a relationship, and clearly state your limits.

What Can I Do to Help a Friend Who Has Been Assaulted?

It's important to offer support, caring, and emotional availability for the survivor. Above all else, convey that you BELIEVE your friend.

Many survivors feel as though others will blame them or think they are "crying rape" erroneously. Communicate that you trust, respect, and accept your friend, and that what happened is not her or his fault.

While you can convey support and availability, please remember there are many resources available to help your friend and you. You may experience many similar feelings as you hear about the assault - feelings of rage, sadness, fear, guilt, depression, or shock.

It is important to find someone to talk to about the feelings you are having as well. At Miami University, students are welcome to come to the Student Counseling Service for free and confidential counseling with a professional counselor or psychologist. 

What Prevents Someone From Reporting a Sexual Assault?

Unfortunately, many survivors feel ashamed, as though they are alone or at fault, as though others will misunderstand them. They sometimes feel blamed or rejected by family or friends. They may be afraid of being harmed further, especially if the perpetrator is someone they know, or someone on whom they depend.

Because some rape survivors judge themselves so harshly for a crime that was not their fault, they may believe that others will judge them as well. 

Many times, survivors feel especially self-blaming when they knew and liked the perpetrator. Yet in 80 percent of reported sexual assaults, the survivor and perpetrator knew each other. Of those, more than 50 percent occur on a date.

Almost 80 percent of sexual assaults involve alcohol and/or drugs, either on the part of the perpetrator or the survivor, or both. When an individual is impaired through the use of alcohol or drugs (including Rohypnol, "Roofies", the date-rape drug), free consent is impossible.

What Are Some Common Responses to a Recent Sexual Assault?

Everyone copes with trauma differently. Ways of coping are influenced by the individual's coping skills before the assault, the severity of the assault, and the support system that is available to the survivor. However, the following responses are common for sexual assault survivors:

  • A diminished self-esteem, feelings of shame, humiliation, anger, powerlessness, and guilt.
  • A negative attitude towards her or his body. This could lead to self-harming behaviors (i.e. alcohol/drug abuse, eating disorders, mutilation, etc.)
  • Difficulty trusting and being intimate with others
  • Avoidance of sexual activity, or engagement in risky sexual activity
  • Experiencing flashbacks of the assault
  • Nightmares, fears of the future, fears of being alone
  • Difficulty concentrating, affected academic performance

For  information on sexual assault prevention and other university programs and resources, visit Campus Safety Sexual Assault

Local Resources

Women Helping Women

Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis 24-Hour Hotline: 513-381-5610

Miami University Student Counseling Service


City of Oxford Police Station


McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital

513-524-5353 or 513-523-2111

Video Resources

Wanna Have Sex? (Consent 101)

In this video, Laci Green offers a basic overview to sexual consent: how to properly ask for consent, as well as what consent does and does not sound like. In the second half of the video, she discusses a few circumstances in which consent cannot be obtained (when the person is drunk, underage, or when you're an authority figure). She concludes on the thought that cultivating a culture where good consent is the norm is one of the most powerful ways to prevent sexual assault, and we all have to be a part of it.

She Asked For It.

In this video, Laci explores the phenomenon of victim blaming in the context of sexual violence (such as rape, sexual assault, or stolen nude photos/revenge porn). In the first half of the video, she elaborates on how victim blaming is, in essence, a logical fallacy. In the second half of the video, she explores how victim blaming is harmful. She ends with a special message to those in the audience who have been violated by someone.

Clinical Health Sciences and Wellness Facility

Student Counseling Service

Clinical Health Sciences and Wellness Facility
421 South Campus Ave.
Oxford, Ohio 45056
513-529-4634 Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Connect With Us on Twitter