Location: Bowdoin / Office of the Dean of Student Affairs / Sexual Assualt / Prevention Strategies

Office of the Dean of Student Affairs

Prevention Strategies

These suggestions may help you reduce the risk of being the victim of sexual misconduct:

  • Clearly communicate your limits to your sexual partner before things go too far.
  • If you consent to sexual activity but do not like what is happening, clearly communicate your withdrawal of consent through your words or actions. 
  • If you do not want to engage in sexual activity, let your partner know that you do not like what is happening and that you do not want to engage in these activities.  This can include saying no, leaving the room, or any other words or actions that show your partner that you do not want to engage in sexual activity
  • If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, call for help or find help.
  • Be responsible for your alcohol/drug consumption and realize that such consumption will lower your sexual inhibitions, interfere with your ability to make rational decisions, and make you vulnerable.
  • Watch out for your friends and allow them to watch out for you.

These suggestions may help you reduce the risk of being accused of sexual misconduct:

  • Do not make assumptions about whether you have obtained effective consent; as the initiator of sexual activity, you have the responsibility to obtain effective consent so you should obtain a “YES” prior to engaging in sexual activity.
  • Clearly communicate your sexual intentions and allow your sexual partner to clearly respond.
  • If you receive mixed messages, do not proceed with sexual activity; take a step back and communicate with your sexual partner.
  • Do not take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they caused it themselves and even if they appear to want to engage in sexual activity.
  • Realize that your sexual partner could be intimidated by you simply because of your size or gender and that you could be viewed as having a power advantage.
  • Understand that consent to one sexual act does not imply consent to other sexual acts.
  • Do not interpret silence as an indication of consent.  Pay attention to your sexual partner’s verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.  Verbal consent is the clearest form of consent.