RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES
FOR WOMEN

1. Know your sexual Intentions and limits. You have the right to say "NO" to any unwanted sexual contact. If you are uncertain about what you want, ask the man (or woman) to respect your feelings.

2. Communicate your limits firmly and directly. If you say "No," say it like you mean It. Don't give mixed messages. Back up your words with a firm tone of voice and clear body language.

3. Don't rely on "ESP" to get your message across. Don't assume that your date will automatically know how you feel or will eventually "get the message" without your having to tell him.

4. Remember that some men think that drinking heavily, dressing provocatively, or going to a man's room indicates a willingness to have sex. Be especially careful to communicate your limits and intentions clearly in such situations.

5. Listen to your gut feelings. If you feel uncomfortable or think you may be at risk, leave the situation immediately and go to a safe place.

6. Don't be afraid to "make waves" if you feel threatened. If you feel you are being pressured or coerced into sexual activity against your will, don't hesitate to state your feelings and get out of the situation. Better a few minutes of social awkwardness or embarrassment than the trauma of sexual assault.

7. Attend large parties with friends you can trust. Agree to "look out" for one another. Try to leave with a group, rather than alone. Avoid leaving with people you do not know very well.

Both men and women should be especially careful in situations Involving the use of alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs can Interfere with your ability to assess situations and to communicate effectively.