Rape and Sexual Assault

Preventing Rape and Sexual Assault

If you or someone you love is in a violent relationship, call these FREE hotlines open 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Utah Domestic Violence Link Line
1-800-897-LINK (5465) or
Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line
1-888-421-1100

Rape Crisis Programs in Utah

Anyone can experience sexual violence, but most victims are female. The person responsible for the violence is typically male and is usually someone known to the victim. The person can be, but is not limited to, a friend, coworker, neighbor, or family member. The most common prevention strategies focus on the perpetrator, bystanders, and the community as a whole.

Bystander Approach

Research shows that 80% of college age men are uncomfortable when women are belittled or mistreated, but they do not express their discomfort because they believe they are the only ones who are uncomfortable. Bystander intervention better equips men to express their discomfort (1).

What can bystanders do to make a difference?

  • Believe someone who discloses a sexual assault, abusive relationship, stalking or cyberstalking.
  • Be respectful of yourself and others. Make sure any sexual act is OK with your partner if you initiate.
  • Watch out for your friends– if you see someone who looks like they are in trouble, ask if they are okay. If you see a friend doing something inappropriate, say something.
  • Speak up – if someone says something offensive, derogatory, or abusive, let them know that the behavior is wrong and you don’t want to be around it. Don’t laugh at racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes. Challenge your peers to be respectful.
  • Get involved –volunteer at a Rape Crisis Program or join another campus or community group working on these issues.

Involving and Working with Men

Engaging men to participate in the prevention of sexual assault requires building and supporting healthy masculinity. The behaviors vital to building healthy masculinity include:

  • Recognizing unhealthy aspects of masculinity
  • Showing empathy for others
  • Supporting gender equity
  • Exhibiting attitudes that respect one’s self and other
  • Learning communication, anger management, and conflict resolution skills
  • Establishing healthy relationships
  • Recognizing violent masculine attitudes and behaviors

Building Community Coalitions

Preventing the occurrence of rape and sexual violence requires working at multiple levels to address an individual’s risk factors, as well as the norms, beliefs, and social and economic systems that make sexual violence more likely to occur. (2)

References

  1. Alan Berkowitz. Men Can Stop Rape
  2. CDC. The Social-Ecological Model: A Framework for Prevention
  3. Stop the Abuse. Be an Active Bystander