Men: Preventing Date Rape
The following offers suggestions for avoiding coercive behavior.
Alternatives to Coerciveness
- Listen carefully. Take the time to hear what the woman is saying. If you feel she is not being direct or is giving you a "mixed message", ask for a clarification.
- Don't fall for the common stereotype that when a woman says "No" she really means "Yes". "No" means "No". If a woman says "No" to sexual contact, believe her and stop.
- Remember that date rape is a crime. It is never acceptable to use force in sexual situations, no matter what the circumstances.
- Don't make assumptions about a woman's behavior. Don't automatically assume that a woman wants to have sex just because she drinks heavily, dresses provocatively, or agrees to go to your room. Don't assume that just because a woman has had sex with you previously she is willing to have sex with you again. Also don't assume that just because a woman consents to kissing or other sexual intimacies she is willing to have sexual intercourse.
- Be aware that having sex with someone who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent is rape. If you have sex with a woman who is drugged, intoxicated, passed out, incapable of saying "No", or unaware of what is happening around her, you may be guilty of rape.
- Be especially careful in group situations. Be prepared to resist pressure from friends to participate in violent or criminal acts.
- "Get involved" if you believe someone is at risk. If you see a woman in trouble at a party or a male friend using force or pressuring a woman, don't be afraid to intervene. You may save the woman from the trauma of sexual assault and your friend from the ordeal of criminal prosecution.
- Finally, realize how other men's uncaring or wrong behavior might affect your own life. Some woman that you know may have been raped. Understand that this person might need your support but might not be able to enter into a relationship at the present time. Also realize that some women who have been raped might feel distrustful of men in general. This is not an abnormal reaction to such a traumatizing experience.
In dormitories or other residences, men can also help by paying attention to strangers who appear to be wandering around the building. Ask them who they are looking for, and report suspicious behavior to University Police.
Help! Where to find it.
Counseling Services (645-2720)
120 Richmond Quad
Crisis Services (834-3131)
24 hour telephone hotline
Copyright - Counseling Services, State University of New York at Buffalo