Prevention


Call 911 in an Emergency or if You or Someone Else is in Imminent Danger

Caution: Please take care when searching for resources. Phone, tablet, computer and other device activity may be monitored. Visited websites may be tracked or viewed by another person. It may be safer for victims and survivors to obtain information using a device a perpetrator does not have potential access to. 

For more information, review the National Domestic Violence Hotline page on Tech and Social Media Safety. The Hotline can also be contacted at 800.799.7233 or 800.787.3224 (TTY) for assistance.

 


The key to preventing violence of any kind is for individuals who commit these crimes and misconduct to choose not to do so. 

The Bottom Line

Federal and state laws and CSU/Cal State LA policies prohibit dating violence, domestic violence, sexual misconduct and violence, and stalking. This prohibition applies to students, employees, and others; as well as to conduct both on and off campus.

  • Perpetrators can be subject to sanctions, such as suspension, expulsion, termination, restitution, civil lawsuits, arrest, criminal prosecution, imprisonment, court-ordered fines, and other penalties.
  • Survivors have numerous rights granted by federal and state laws, including the right to: confidentiality; report crimes and misconduct to law enforcement and the Cal State LA Title IX Officer and Deputy Coordinators; be free of and protected from retaliation; and receive written information on their rights.
  • Campus-based support services include: crisis intervention; assistance with law enforcement and other notifications; interim safety measures; and academic, housing, work, and transportation accommodations, if requested and reasonably available.
  • Community support services and resources include: 24-hour hotlines; no-cost sexual assault forensic exams; emergency shelter; legal aid; immigration relief; and victim-witness assistance programs.

The Game

The Game: #iamonestudent

Important Considerations About Consent and Sex

Consent is critical for all interactions with others.

When it comes to sex, nonconsensual sexual conduct is a crime. The key to preventing sexual misconduct and violence is to ensure valid consent for all sexual activities. It is the responsibility of each individual participating in a sexual encounter to ensure they have consent.

Be aware that if you have not been given consent or if consent has been withdrawn – California law allows consent to be withdrawn at any time, including after penetration – sexual activity should not be initiated or must be immediately stopped.

When it comes to consent, keep in mind consent is based on:

  • Positive cooperation by each individual involved.

    • Based on personal choice.
    • Equality – Power differentials can imply lack of ability to consent.
    • Active participation in decision-making – Partner is not passive or silent.
    • Participation is not based on fear.
    • Participants are of legal age to consent to sex.
  • Each individual being able to act freely and voluntarily.

    • Decisions regarding consent are free of coercion, force, violence, threat of violence or retribution.
    • Pressuring someone until they change their mind is coercion - not consent.
    • Individuals are able to resist if desired.
    • Not incapacitated by alcohol or other drugs and substances.
    • Not unconscious or asleep.
    • Not having a mental or physical condition or disability which prevents or limits ability to consent.
  • Each person knowing the nature of the act involved.

    • Individuals keeping in mind that consent for one act (e.g., oral sex or intimate touching) doesn’t give consent for others (e.g., sexual intercourse).
    • Each person knowing the consequences associated with the sexual activity.
    • Understanding what the intimate act entails.
    • Respecting limits and boundaries.
  • Relationship status does not convey consent.

    • Relationship status (e.g., date, spouse),  being “in love,” spending money on someone, giving or receiving gifts, helping someone with a project or prepare for an exam, receiving project or exam help, or any other circumstance does not:
      • Impart consent – whether it’s a hookup or marriage.
      • Obligate anyone to be sexually intimate with someone else if they don’t want to.
      • Entitle anyone to sex.
    • Even in a relationship, consent is required for all sexual conduct.
  • Requests for an individual to use a condom or a birth control method doesn't necessarily equate consent.

    • Depending on the genders of the individuals involved, this request may simply be an individual’s means for protection against sexually transmitted infections and/or unintended pregnancy.

Avoid Perpetration

Take an honest look at your actions. Do you act in ways that are considered unhealthy or prohibited conduct? 

It may be difficult, but being able to acknowledge and take responsibility for unhealthy behaviors and misconduct are important steps toward making positive and healthy change. Making changes may be difficult. It takes commitment, time, and in many cases, professional help. Consider getting nonjudgmental assistance from the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800.799.SAFE [7233] or 800.787.3223 [TTY]). In addition:

  • Choose to avoid unhealthy behaviors and misconduct.
  • Set goals and create a plan for engaging in healthier behaviors.
  • Be committed to making the changes necessary to avoid misconduct. Take intentional steps to reach goals.
  • Don't initiate behaviors that are considered to be criminal acts or misconduct.
  • Break down attitudes and beliefs that condone violence. 
  • Avoid misuse of alcohol and other substances.

Reduce Victimization Risk

How Does it Happen?

Abusive relationships and even acquaintance rapes appear to start off as any other healthy relationship or social interaction. In fact, most people are sexually assaulted by someone they know and often trust. Initially, there may be no obvious signs of the other person’s intent to harm.

Individuals who choose to abuse or commit sexual violence often groom their targets. They first do what it takes to gain their target's trust and affection. They may test boundaries with seemingly “harmless” actions – invading personal space, name calling. Then coercion, alcohol and other substances, isolation, violence, and other means are used to control, abuse and sexually assault.

A stalker may be a stranger, unknown to their victim. Stalkers can also be current and former intimate partners, acquaintances, strangers, family members, persons of authority, or other individuals. 

General Risk Reduction

There is no strategy that offers an absolute guarantee of freedom from dating and domestic, sexual violence or stalking victimization (remember, victims don't control nor are they responsible for the behavior of a perpetrator). However, awareness and knowledge are important tools that can be used to help minimize victimization risk.

Recognize Warning Signs

Knowing, recognizing and responding to warning signs are the first steps to reducing victimization risk.

What Else Can You Do?

  • Clearly communicate your boundaries.
    • Be wary of someone who doesn't respect your limits or boundaries.
  • Trust your feelings.
    • If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Do what you can, including enlisting the help of others if needed, to get into a safer situation.
  • Stay sober and watch out for those who pressure you to drink or get high.
  • Plan for safety.
    • Think ahead - do you have money for a taxi/Lyft/Uber if you need to get home on your own? Have you asked friends to check in with you? If you're being abused and can't avoid the person abusing you, get help to develop a safety plan.
  • Get help, if safe to do so.
    • If you think or know you are being abused, have been sexually assaulted, or are being stalked, help is available — on campus and in the community.

Am I being abused? Have I been sexually assaulted? Am I being stalked?

  • If you answered yes to any of these questions...
    • First and foremost, know and believe that you didn't do anything wrong and you are not at fault. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. You are not the cause of the violence; nor are you to blame or responsible for someone else’s actions – no matter what a perpetrator may tell you.
  • Consider obtaining help to reduce your risk of harm.
    • In addition to incident reporting, assistance is available from local law enforcement, University Police or the Cal State LA Title IX Officer. Think about getting safety planning assistance through a national hotline or local domestic and sexual violence survivor assistance agency.
  • Consider preserving evidence.
    • Evidence preservation is important in the event you decide to report the crime, seek a protective/restraining order, or file a civil lawsuit after a crime is committed or at a future date. Detailed evidence preservation tips, including information on the sexual assault forensic exam are available through 24-hour hotlines and law enforcement agencies. How evidence is preserved depends on circumstances. In all cases, documentation is important—documenting dates, times, witnesses, and descriptions of incidents in a journal or log. Also of importance is saving: clothing that was worn at the time of an assault in separate paper bags; threatening texts and emails; screenshots of online posts; and other evidence, such as unwanted gifts. Have injuries documented by a medical provider. Taking and saving pictures of injuries or vandalized property is also helpful. Keep in mind that if an incident will not be immediately reported to law enforcement or campus official (e.g., Title IX Officer), evidence should be kept in a safe place where a perpetrator is not likely to discover it.
  • Consider your options.
    • You have the right to: report misconduct and the crimes committed against you; seek assistance from survivor assistance resources; preserve evidence and, if applicable, obtain the sexual assault forensic exam at no cost without a requirement to participate in the judicial system; obtain medical and mental health care; request protective/restraining orders; seek financial compensation for crime related losses; pursue additional rights and options. You also have the right to do nothing at all.
  • Help is available 24/7
    • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800.799.SAFE (7233), 800.787.3224 (TTY)
    • National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline: 866.331.9474, 866.331.8453 (TTY)
    • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673), online hotline available
    • Safe Helpline (for the DoD community): 877.995.5247

How Family, Friends and Bystanders Can Help

The Importance of Bystander Intervention

The Importance of Bystander Intervention

Do You Know Someone...

Whose beliefs, attitudes and behavior condone violence? Who is a perpetrator? Or do you see or hear inappropriate conduct or an incident occurring?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider that there are many ways you, as an engaged bystander — an aware or concerned family member, friend, classmate, colleague, or stranger — can intervene. Be alert to warning signs and inappropriate conduct. Take responsibility to intervene, if safe to do so. Engage others for assistance when needed. If someone is in imminent danger or intervening in a situation will compromise your safety, call 911.

Based on circumstances, you might intervene by:

  • Respectfully calling attention to comments that condone violence or are examples of domestic and sexual violence or stalking.
  • Speaking out against inappropriate and criminal behavior in a manner that minimizes potential for escalation.
  • Helping extricate someone from a risky situation.
  • Causing a distraction that allows a potential victim to escape a possible harmful situation.
  • Reporting crimes, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other misconduct to appropriate officials.
    • On Campus, these officials may include University Police, Title IX Officer, Child Abuse Mandated Reporting Coordinator, Assistant Dean for Student Conduct, or Campus Security Authorities.
    • Off campus, these officials may include local law enforcement, a child protection hotline, or elder abuse hotline.

For additional bystander intervention tips, click on Intervening by NO MORE and Bystander Scenarios by NO MORE. Consult with law enforcement or a 24-hour hotline for guidance if you're not sure how to respond. Call 911 in an emergency or if you or someone else is in imminent danger.

Who is a victim or survivor?

If you're not sure, take a look at:

If you answered yes to this question:

  • Show you CARE.
  • BELIEVE them.

  • DON'T BLAME them. Fault lies with the perpetrator.
  • LISTEN without passing judgment.
  • REINFORCE it's not their fault.
  • TALK about their rights and options.
  • RECOMMEND they preserve evidence.

  • HELP them get connected to a 24-hour hotline.
  • ENCOURAGE reporting, safety planning and self-care.
  • Offer SUPPORT without taking control.
  • ALLOW them to decide what is best for their situation.
  • BE OBSERVANT. Watch out for problems and offer assistance and support, if able.

If you’re not sure how to help your friend, family member, colleague or acquaintance, help is available from 24-hour hotlines. Call 911 in an emergency or if you or someone else is in imminent danger.

Additional Resources

Help 24/7 ►  |  1in6 for Men Who Have Experienced Sexual Abuse or Assault National Domestic Violence Hotline  |  National Human Trafficking Hotline  |  National Sexual Assault Hotline  |  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  |  National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline  |  Safe Helpline - Sexual Assault Support for the DoD Community  |  The Trevor Project Helpline for LGBT Youth (Ages 13-24)  |