Prevention happens when everyone in the UMBC community takes action to promote safety, respect, and equality.
Rape culture encapsulates the prevalent attitudes and practices that normalize, excuse, tolerate, and condone rape.
You can help disrupt rape culture.
- Model healthy, respectful attitudes and behaviors.
- Let others know that jokes and behavior that promote sexism or violence are not funny or acceptable. Challenge attitudes and beliefs that support and/or perpetuate sexual misconduct.
- Challenge street harassment: catcalls, sexually explicit comments, sexist remarks, homophobic slurs, groping, leering, stalking, flashing, and assault. Street harassment limits people’s mobility and access to public spaces. It can be a form of gender violence and it is a human rights violation.
- Look out for your friends and ask that they look out for you. Talk to a friend or find a resource at UMBC or off campus if you are concerned about someone and are unsure about what to do.
- Be proactive and respond when you see a friend or someone else in a vulnerable situation. Sign up for Green Dot bystander training at UMBC.
- Challenge victim-blaming statements when you hear them. Do not agree with abusers’ excuses for why they abuse. Let survivors know that it is not their fault. Hold abusers accountable for their actions: do not let them make excuses like blaming the victim, alcohol, or drugs for their behavior. Acknowledge that survivors are their own best experts and provide them with resources and support. Become familiar with ways to help and talk with victims and survivors.
- Learn what it means to have a healthy relationship. Ask a friend about their relationship and start a conversation about healthy relationships and boundaries.
- Understand what consent means. People often think consent is only important when it comes to sex. Really, consent is about always choosing to respect personal and emotional boundaries. By practicing consent in everyday situations, you show that you value the choices of others.
- Attend a training or workshop on campus and get involved in advocacy work to promote a safe and inclusive community. Invite your friends to join you.
- Use your classroom as an opportunity to talk about sexual misconduct. Organize a seminar on healthy relationships and/or sexual violence/misconduct for your residence hall, apartment, or student group.