What You Can Do to Stop Acquaintance Rape*

Take all relationships seriously. Every person has the right to be treated with respect and dignity.

Communicate effectively. This means voicing your needs and listening to what is being said. Always try to express yourself as clearly and assertively as possible. Be aware of your body language. Make sure the other individual knows what you mean, want, and need in each situation.

Accept the decisions of others. It is never okay to manipulate, pressure, intimidate, or force someone into sexual activity.

Discuss your expectations. Share your feelings and thoughts about sexual activity in dating and intimate relationships with the other person.

Consider the effects of alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol and other drugs can impair the perceptions of reactions in both males and females. This can cause additional problems in communication, the ability to understand the other person, and to respond effectively.

Know your rights and responsibilities. You have the right to determine how far intimacy will go and the responsibility to stop when the other person says no.

Challenge sexist attitudes. Recognize that attitudes which promote an unequal status for girls and women perpetuate an environment which is conducive to the acceptance of rape and other violence directed at women.

Get involved with social justice. Read, talk, and act with respect and diversity regarding race, religion, gender, sexuality, and class. Keep an open mind. Others may see things differently.

*Adapted from: The C.A.R.E. program, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne