April Safety Tip: Sexual Assault Prevention

The Safety Tip is provided by U.Va.'s Office of Emergency Preparedness on the 11th of every month.

April 11, 2011 — April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Following the national campaign theme, we want to say "it's time…to get involved."

You're out, and you think you saw something. You're not sure; maybe it was nothing. So you do nothing and just keep walking.

The next day you hear the news: Someone needed your help, but you didn't know what to do.

Speaking up may seem difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Try to approach the situation as if it involved one of your friends. If you see something that doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. If you think some¬one is in trouble, ask if they are OK. Be honest and direct in explaining your concerns and reasons for intervening. If you don't feel comfortable approaching a situation on your own, ask – a friend, a coworker, anyone – for help.

Some local resources include the Office of the Dean of Students, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Women's Center, the University Police Department, the Sexual Assault Resource Center, and the Shelter for Help in Emergency.

You aren't ruining someone's fun or being a jerk if you speak up. You are watching out for someone's brother, sister, child, neighbor or friend. Next time it could be your loved one who needs help.

To learn more about Sexual Assault Awareness Month, go here.

For information, visit here or contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness at 434-982-0565 or uvaoep@virginia.edu.

Media Contact

Marge Sidebottom

U.Va. Director Of Emergency Preparedness