Talking Points About Sexual Assault with Your Student

  • Explain to your student that consent is more than “no means no,” and that obtaining permission before engaging in any sexual activity is essential.
  • Learn more about sexual assault within a college setting. College campuses are highly social environments that provide rapists with a variety of opportunities to commit sexual assault. The majority of survivors knew the perpetrator at least casually prior to the assault. Just because students are in a college setting doesn’t mean that everyone is well intentioned and that they should let their guard down, especially with people they may barely know.
  • Discuss the relationship between alcohol use and one’s ability to make safe choices, or to help friends. While alcohol use doesn’t cause sexual assault, it can make someone more vulnerable to a sexual predator.
  • Plan ways to be safe in advance.  Making sure friends stay together, developing verbal or non-verbal signals to let your friends know you need help and frequent check ins are all ways to increase safety in social situations.
  • Strategize about things that your student can do to if s/he is faced with a potentially dangerous situation.
  • Talk about how to get help. Talking about programming 911 into one’s phone, learning how to engage potential allies in difficult situations and other strategies are examples of conversations you can have prior to arriving at UNH.
  • Emphasize that there is never an excuse for hurting or violating someone else, and include that rape is never the survivor’s fault, no matter what.
  • Encourage your student to become involved in preventing sexual and relationship abuse in campus. SHARPP has excellent volunteer opportunities for all students.