Talking to Your Daughter About Sexual Assault
10 talking points to keep your kids safe
- A victim can be anyone. Telling yourself that you’re too smart, too confident, or too aware of your surroundings to be a victim is naïve. No one thinks they’ll be a victim of sexual assault until they are.
- Even “nice guys” can sexually assault girls. Just because a boy seems nice doesn’t mean that he always is.
- Avoid parties and places where there are no adults present.
- Watch your alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption can make it difficult to be aware of your surroundings and potential dangers.
- If you are at a party where alcohol is present, guard your drink, and never let someone give you a drink that you haven’t asked for or watched them make.
- Watch out for your friends. The best prevention against sexual assault is bystander intervention.
- Do not be afraid to speak up or leave the situation if something feels wrong.
- If you have been sexually assaulted, it is not because of alcohol, the way you were dressed, or the way you behaved. No matter what you have done, perpetrators do not “lose control.” They make the choice to assault another person.
- When we ask a girl why she “went to that party” or “wore that skirt,” it’s called “victim blaming.” Victim blaming is when people (or entire communities) blame the victim for her behavior rather than focusing on the behavior of the perpetrator. If a friend comes to you and discloses that she has been sexually assaulted, avoid blaming her or questioning her behavior. It is just as easy to victim blame others as it is to be victim blamed.
- If you or a friend has been sexually assaulted, seek the assistance of a trusted adult. This should be the first thing you do. Sexual assault is too much of a burden to carry alone, and shame thrives in silence.
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