Consensual Sex: Yes! Sexual Assault: Put an end to it.

Just Talking About sexual issues is front and center to a healthy and happy life – and that includes talking about what each of us can do to end the all too common occurrence of sexual assault. At Beforeplay.org we think no sexual behavior is off limits, as long as everyone involved is consenting and open to conversation.

Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted – that’s about 238,000 people a year who are survivors of this crime. What’s really tough to take in is that about two-thirds of those crimes are committed by someone the victim knows. That’s just unacceptable and we all can take part in reducing this terrible crime. Here are some steps we all can take to put an end to sexual assault (thanks to our friends at RAINN):

If you see someone in danger of being assaulted:

  • Step in and offer assistance. Ask if the person needs help. Before you step in though, be sure and evaluate the risk so you’re not putting yourself in danger too. If that’s the case, go ahead and be smart with your phone and call 911.
  • Don’t leave the scene – you’re a witness. Also, the person who is assaulting the other is less likely to do anything more if you stay there.
  • If you know the person assaulting another, be vocal – let him or her know that what is going on is wrong, and ask him or her to leave the other person alone.

Keep yourself, and your friends, safe

  • When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other frequently and leave together.
  • Have a buddy system. You might have thought you were done with that in elementary school, but there are many situations where this still works really well. Don’t be afraid to let a friend know if you are worried about her/his safety.
  • If you see someone who is intoxicated or stoned offer to call him or her a cab to help get home safely – or if you’re sober, maybe you can provide a ride.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Just Talking About It helps to build awareness, and that’s a great first step. We all are part of the solution.