Risk Reduction and Violence Prevention

  • Violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, geography, ability, appearance, sexual orientation, and gender identity. It is never the fault of the victim. The only person that can stop violence from taking place is the individual committing the crime. 

    Although the perpetrator is the only person responsible for violence, we can all take steps to reduce and prevent violence, in order to create a safer campus community. 

    Risk Reduction

    The term risk reduction is used to discuss strategies potential victims of violence and bystanders can use to reduce the risk of violence. Examples of risk reduction techniques include:

    • Communicate with confidence. It’s okay to be assertive and enforce your rights. If someone is doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you have the right to tell them to stop.
    • Look out for your friends. Set a standard in your peer group that you will all look out for each other.
    • Trust your instincts. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself and your friends from the situation.
    • Set clear limits. Set clear sexual limits and communicate your limits with your partner.
    • Understand the impact alcohol has on your mind and body. Alcohol and other drugs can impair your judgment and make you vulnerable. For more information on alcohol’s impact on the body, visit the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs website.
    • If you choose to drink, drink responsibly. For more information on responsible drinking behaviors, visit the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs website.
    • Know campus and community resources. If you feel unsafe on campus, you can utilize resources such as the Blue Safety Lights and/or the University Police Escort Service

    Remember: If you are a victim of violence, it is not your fault. Help is available. You’re not alone. 

    Violence Prevention 

    The term violence prevention is used to discuss ways to stop an assault before it happens. Examples of violence prevention techniques include:

    • Respecting the rights of others. Never impose your will over another individual. This includes forcing someone to do something they do not want to do or engaging in sexual activity with someone who is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
    • Receiving consent. If you choose to engage in sexual activity, always receive consent from your partner. Sexual activity without consent is sexual violence.
    • Creating and maintaining healthy relationships. Healthy relationships are built on equality and require building blocks such as honesty, respect, trust, and communication to maintain.
    • Being an active bystander. You can stop violence before it happens by stepping in to offer help (assuming the situation is safe) or stepping out to get help if the situation is unsafe. To learn more about being an active bystander, visit the Bystanders Step Up! AWAREness page.
    • Supporting survivors of violence. When we create a culture that supports survivors of violence, more individuals seek services, report crimes, and hold offenders accountable.
    • Working towards ending violence and oppression. Anyone can take a stand against violence, including you! You can get involved by volunteering in the community or by joining student organizations that address violence and inequality.

    Do you want to help prevent violence on our campus and in our community? Get involved with:

    You can also learn about student organizations that address gender issues, such as:

    • The Men’s Awareness Program
    • Women’s Studies Club
    • SAGE: Student’s Advocating Gender Equality

    Find out more about these organizations by connecting with them on CrimsonConnect.

    If you have questions or would like to speak with someone about resources for survivors of violence, help is available.

    Contact the Haven Project at (724) 357-3947 or the Counseling Center at (724) 357-2621.

    You may also contact your local crisis hotline:

    Last updated on September 1, 2015