Molly Carl
Assist. Arts & Culture Editor

As you may be aware, the first six weeks of a college student’s freshman year are known as the “Red Zone,” the name given to the period when students are most at risk for sexual assault. Many precautions are taken during this time to ensure the safety of students. However, sexual assault is not exclusively confined to this time period. If it was, the issue would be far more manageable.

In light of horrific events, like the highly publicized Steubenville Rape Case, and as a voice for the assaulted who have not had the chance to bring their nightmares to light, there are many precautions that can be taken to help reach a point when we, as a society, will no longer be forced to play the blame game. Here are ten precautions that can be taken so that rape can be prevented in all areas and aspects of life:

Women can only take so many precautions against rape.
Women can only take so many precautions against rape.

10. Don’t put drugs into someone’s drink.
If you’re at a party and you see a cute girl, instead of slipping Rohypnol or other “roofies” into her drink, try starting a conversation with her. Raping her may appear as though you’re coming on too strong.

9. Always use the buddy system!
If you are leaving your room to go out with some friends and you feel as though you may be inclined to rape someone that night, take a friend with you. On your own it can be difficult sometimes to avoid assaulting someone, but with your buddy at your side keeping you in check, the risk is minimal.

8. If you see a woman who is walking alone, do not sexually assault her.
Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to rape someone, let the woman be and carry on with your own business.

7. If a woman asks you to help change her tire, do not rape her.
The distinction between real life and pornography is often very difficult to ascertain, so just remember that not every woman in need needs you to have sex with her, and not every pizza delivery guy is looking for intercourse. On occasion, questions like, “Can you help me fix my water heater?” are not euphemisms, and the person actually needs help to fix the heater.

6. If someone asks you for a favor (help with homework, carrying heavy items, etc.) remember that this is not an invitation for rape. Sometimes signals can be misleading. If a guy tells you he needs help with math homework, he is not explicitly giving you permission to have sex with him. Lack of permission for sex is what we call rape, and it is best avoided.

5. If you see an open window into someone’s bedroom, this is not an excuse to climb through the window and commit rape. The same thing applies for doors, cars, office cubicles. Just because a woman may be enjoying a fresh breeze or a man forgot to lock his garage door, this does not give you the old “A-OK” to use this as an entry point so that you may rape either of them.

If you are ever unsure, remember that consent is the best way to prevent rape.
If you are ever unsure, remember that consent is the best way to prevent rape.

4. If someone is asleep or unconscious, this is not an opportunity to practice sexual intercourse. Sometimes you might feel a little out of practice in the bedroom, but someone who is asleep or passed out is not someone with whom you should be practicing those skills. Wait until someone verbally, soberly, and consciously gives you the thumbs-up.

3. Carry a whistle!
If you know that you are the type of person who might “accidentally” rape or assault someone, keep a whistle on your person at all times. That way, if you are overcome with the urge to do either, you may hand him or her the whistle so that help can be sought.

2. Remember that honesty is always the best policy.
If you are on a date with a woman and have made the decision that you are going to have sex with her later whether or not she feels the same, tell her that you are intending to rape her. Communication is key, and if she does not know that you’re planning to rape her, she may see that as a sign that you won’t and inadvertently feel safe around you.

1. Don’t rape.
Whether you are a man or a woman looking to have non-consensual sex with another man or woman, stop looking. Not only does “no” mean “no,” so does a lack of “yes,” as well as an intoxicated “yes”. This applies not only to strangers or the people you meet at parties, but also to significant others (boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés, etc.) and even spouses. Consent must be a conscious, sober, non-coerced “yes.”

There is never a time that you are entitled to have sex with someone, no matter how long you’ve been together. If you are going out of your house, be it to a party, a date, or even to the grocery store, keep these tips in mind to help your community stay rape-free.