Safety Topic of the Month
Sexual Assault Awareness
Every semester we cover Sexual Assault Awareness because it
is a constantly changing topic. Talking about what happens on our campus can
help prevent the same thing from happening to you or someone around you.
Awareness is prevention.
Traditionally, people meet first and got to know each other
second. In cyber-space, you get to know them before you meet them.
The use of Social Media has become more commonly involved in
sexual assaults. Why? Because you communicate over messages and photos. When
you finally meet in person, you may have a false sense of security because you
think you know this person. But expectations don’t always match when you meet.
You feel bold talking about sex and sharing sexually explicit photos, but it is
different communicating in person and presenting boundaries when you didn’t
need to on social media. Also, you can’t read that person’s body language when
you communicate over social media. Now you have another complication. Taking
cues from a person’s body language is an important part of communication. Most
people don’t take the time to figure it out and problems follow because of
What do you need to know when you have met a person on
social media, have a romantic interest, and now you want to meet them in
1. Take the time to get to know them. Even though
you think you know them already, treat that first meeting like a first date. If
the other person is obviously treating it as a continuation of your cyber
relationship, you need to talk about that and set boundaries.
2. Sharing your sexuality in person may be a lot
more uncomfortable to you than when you were connecting virtually. This is
often the case, so admitting and communicating this to that person is
important. If they pressure you in continuing to pursue your virtual
relationship immediately when you are wanting a deeper connection, take
3. Make a friend aware of where you’re going and
who you will be with. Knowing you can text that person and they can help you if
necessary provides a layer of safety. You could have a safe word that would
alert them that you need an out.
4. Don’t have your first meeting alone. Go to a
public place for that first meeting. Somewhere you can talk and get to know
each other. Or meet with a few friends.
5. As an additional layer of protection, have your Lobo Guardian App on your
phone. The emergency button is geo located, which may be important if you don’t
know exactly where you are.
6. You may want to research that person on other
social media sites. This could put you at ease if their casual interactions
with others is consistent with your impression of that person. Or it could
raise some red flags if they are not.