Education

One of the most important things you can do to help stop sexual violence (rape, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, etc.) is to become educated about it. The topics below provide a range of information on types of sexual violence and how you can help prevent it, and you can find further resources here.

Consent—what is it and why is it important

Consent is an agreement between two people and is necessary to make sure that sexual activity is not against a person’s will. Consent can be ambiguous at times and is an important topic that needs to be addressed with direct, clear, and open communication. When thinking about consent, please keep the following in mind:

BOTH PARTNERS NEED TO BE FULLY AWARE: Alcohol and/or drugs interfere with the ability of a person to make proper decisions, including whether or not to be sexually active. The more intoxicated an individual is, the less consent they are able to consciously give.

BOTH PARTNERS MUST BE FREE TO STOP AT ANYTIME: Coercion must NEVER be used in any form during the sexual encounter. Both partners are free to stop at any time, even if they agreed to continue the actions initially. Coercion, even coercion done with factors such as using body size, threats of physical/emotional harm, or the use of illegal substances, must never be used to prevent a partner from stopping the encounter.

BOTH PARTNERS MUST COMMUNICATE CLEARLY: Permission to continue the encounter and/or move to the next level of intimacy should be conveyed clearly and neither partner should ever assume that consent is given. Remember, just because a person agreed to kiss or fondle does NOT mean that s/he is agreeing to a full sexual encounter. CONSENT IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF THE WORD “NO.”

BOTH PARTNERS ACT IN A SINCERE MANNER: When communicating your desire it is important to be clear that you are giving consent to the actions(s). Both partners must be honest and open during the encounter.

IMPORTANT: It is important to remember to ask for consent to ALL levels of intimacy in the encounter. As you progress to each new step of the encounter, it is important to ask for consent, ie. “Is it ok if I kiss you?”, “Is it ok if I remove your shirt?” , etc.

NEVER assume that consent for all actions is given because of consent to one action!

Key Terms

How You Can Help

Can I really make a difference?

Yes, absolutely! Getting involved can help prevent sexual assault in a culture that too often inadvertently supports it. By doing something very simple (read below), you could actually be preventing a lot of damage in people’s lives.

How can I help in the prevention efforts?

  • Be aware of language and speak up if someone is putting others down.
  • Share information that you know on sexual assault prevention.
  • Offer to drive your friend(s) home from a party.
  • Accompany your friends to parties.
  • Remind your friends to hold their drink at all times. Make sure that they open and/or pour their own drinks.
  • Sponsor programs on sexual assault awareness and prevention.

What can I do if I see something happening that can lead to trouble?

  • Take one person aside and distract them .
  • Distract the couple in order to diffuse the situation.
  • Offer to call a cab so one person can leave.
  • Knock on the door, or open the door, if you suspect a problem.
  • Directly ask what is going on and is everything okay.
  • Shout something to draw attention to the situation. For example, you can say ”Hey, what are you doing? Leave them alone!”

I feel uncomfortable doing these things.

For most of us it does feel uncomfortable, and it does take courage to speak up and intervene. But all it takes is one person at a time to help stop the violence. You can make a difference in someone’s life.

How to Protect Yourself Online

Do not share personal information in public spaces anywhere online, nor give it to strangers, including in e-mail or chat rooms. Do not use your real name or nickname as your screen name or user ID. Pick a name that is gender- and age-neutral. And do not post personal information as part of any user profiles.

We would prefer that you never meet with someone that you have met online, however if you do, you must be extremely cautious. If you choose to meet never give anyone your address, and do not have them pick you up. Meet in a public place and take along a friend.

Make sure that your ISP and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network have an acceptable use policy that prohibits cyberstalking. And if your network fails to respond to your complaints, consider switching to a provider that is more responsive to user complaints.

If a situation online becomes hostile, log off or surf elsewhere. If a situation places you in fear, contact campus security or your local law enforcement agency. There is help and support available on campus and off campus.

Be Smart with Your Online Presence

Just because an online app or website asks for information about you does not mean you have to provide all of it. Before you “accept” the agreement, read it and understand what you are authorizing them to access about you.

Do you REALLY feel comfortable with the online world knowing –

  • Your class schedule
  • Your hometown or address
  • Your phone number
  • All of your email addresses/messenger names
  • The names of your relatives

Your Password

  • Be smart when creating your password and NEVER share it.
  • Create a special and unique password that includes numbers and symbols.
  • Make sure the password does not include your name or numbers easily associated with you like your birth date.
  • Change your password regularly.

Your Privacy Settings

  • Take the time to review the privacy settings offered for any website or online community that you join.
  • Make sure you understand what privacy settings you can control, what they mean and how to control them.
  • The default setting for most privacy settings online is open and public—be careful!

Location, Location, Location

Many apps and website will ask for your location—but why is that and what is the risk with providing it? Listing your specific address can be risky—especially if it is viewable by anyone on the website. This can leave you open to identity thef lkers, unsolicited mailings, and more. Think about it before you post it!

Responsibility

University of Bridgeport believes that each student is responsible for reaching their goals as part of a student development philosophy. Through growth in the academic, personal, community, cultural, career, and personal well-being areas, students will develop into holistically healthy, independent individuals who are compassionate and thoughtful members of society.

Educational programming and events offered throughout the academic year includes, but is not limited to:

  • Haven – Understanding Sexual Assault online training
  • Bystander education workshops
  • Take Back the Night March
  • Domestic Violence Vigil
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Walk
  • Education and training for student clubs, organizations, and Greek Life
  • Education and training for student-athletes
  • “Operation Jungle Red” program focusing on the socialization of men
  • Educational programs for international students
  • Where do we stand? workshop

For more information about these and other programs, please contact the Dean of Students Office at (203) 576-4392 or deanofstudents@bridgeport.edu

As a University of Bridgeport student, it is also your responsibility to be knowledgeable about university policies and procedures and the Code of Community Standards. More information about these policies, and your rights and responsibilities, is available by accessing the Key to UB Student Handbook.

For Men

Office of Civil Rights Compliance (Title IX)

Carstensen Hall, Room 115
174 University Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604

File a Title IX Report    UB's DHSMR Policy