Sexual Assault/Offense Prevention
St. John's College is committed to having a campus environment free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual assault/offenses and harassment. The policy against sexual assault/offenses and sexual harassment aims to support the college's primary goal: the preservation and enhancement of a positive working, learning, and living environment for all community members.
- Anytime you are uncertain about whether your partner is comfortable with your behavior, ask! You can simply say, "Are you okay with this?"
- "No” means no. What’s more, assume that “I’m not sure” means no. While consent may be expressed through non-verbal conduct, silence alone does not mean "yes." Non-verbal communication can easily be interpreted differently by both parties so don't rely on it. Again- ask!
- If you’re going to drink, drink responsibly. Most sexual assaults on college campuses follow drinking by one or both individuals.
- Be aware of how alcohol affects you. Drinking can lead to aggression in some people.
- Being drunk is not a defense for committing sexual assault.
- Understand that a person who is drunk may not be legally capable of giving consent. If you suspect that the other person is not capable of making an informed decision, do not engage in sexual activity.
- Recognize that your sexual needs do not give you the right to do whatever you want. Any sexual activity should be mutually desired.
- A prior relationship or sexual history does not imply consent to further sexual activity.
- Consent to one type of sexual activity does not imply consent to further sexual activity.
- Pay attention to where your friends are and what they are doing at parties.
- Trust your instincts about your friends. If you notice a friend leaving the party with someone he or she normally wouldn’t leave with, say something to the friend, a third person, or a Senior Resident.
- If you approach someone leaving a party under worrisome circumstances, you can ask the friend if he or she is ok; invite the friend to come with you to find another mutual friend, get some food, etc; tell the friend to come join the party; invite yourself along for the walk, or make some other low key comment that will give the person a chance to leave the situation without you making an explicit assumption of what anyone’s intentions are. Refuse to leave a friend with a person who might be trying to take advantage of them.
- Don’t be afraid to be "rude," especially if the situation is obviously unsafe.
- If you notice that a friend has had too much to drink, be especially attentive regarding who the person is talking to or leaving with.
- If you are concerned about someone’s behavior at a campus party, either because of possible aggression or possible risk to the individual, tell a Senior Resident. He or she can help you check out the situation.
- Warn others about high risk situations.
- Speak up when you see someone trying to take advantage of a person you believe to be intoxicated (or if you hear someone discuss plans to take advantage of another person).
- Call Public Safety if you don't feel comfortable intervening in a situation, for instance, if a friend is being yelled at or threatened by a significant other.
- Don't tolerate sexist or discriminatory language. If you don't feel comfortable asking the person to stop, tell the assistant dean after the fact.
- Report incidents involving friends where you think sexual assault or harassment might have occurred.
- When you go out, take care of your safety also. Have your cell phone charged and with you. Program the Public Safety phone number into your phone contacts. St. John’s College Public Safety is at 443-336-2348 or extension 2000. Let your friends or roommate know where you are going and with whom.
- Always lock your door whether at home or away. Don’t admit anyone you don’t know into your residence hall. Report any suspicious persons or activity to Public Safety. Call for an on-campus walking escort when you are without one, Public Safety: 443-336-2348 or extension 2000.
- If you attend group gatherings or parties, go with friends you trust.
- Trust your instincts. If you find yourself in a situation where something feels wrong, look for a way out of the situation—move closer to other people or seek out a safe way to get home. If you feel unsafe or think you may be at risk, leave the situation immediately. Do not be afraid to be "rude" if you feel unsafe!
- You have the right to say "no" to any undesired sexual contact. State your limits clearly and firmly.
- Don’t ignore sudden feelings of mistrust regarding someone you are with just because you have known the person for a long time.
- Never leave a drink unattended or accept a drink that you did not see poured. Date-rape drugs can leave you unable to protect yourself or even know what is happening to you.
- If you're going to drink, be aware that alcohol and drugs may interfere with a person's ability to make clear decisions and communicate effectively.
- Make sure your friends "have your back," especially when you’re drinking.
Click here for more information on how to get help and on sexual assault/offense policies and procedures.
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