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Everyone can make a difference in preventing sexual violence on campus. We encourage you to understand the importance of consent, speak up when you see or hear disrespectful behavior and get involved in sexual violence prevention groups.
Sexual violence is any sexual activity in which consent is not obtained or freely given. It doesn’t matter if you know the person or not — they could be someone you’re in a relationship with, a friend, a classmate, someone in your residence hall or a stranger.
Types of sexual violence include:
A critical part of every healthy sexual experience is consent. You should always make sure that any sexual activity is consensual. Just because you don’t say “no” does not mean “yes.”
Consent is a knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions provide clear permission about a person’s willingness to engage in the sexual activity.
You need consent every time, with everyone.
When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
If someone hurts you or takes advantage of you when you’re vulnerable due to using alcohol or other drugs, it’s not your fault. When you’re under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, you may not have the capacity to give consent to sexual activity.
Sex is better sober. Avoid alcohol and other drugs for a better, safer sexual experience.
Does your partner know what you want? Do you know what your partner wants? Sexual activity should always be consensual, and should only include what both of you want to do. If you aren’t comfortable talking about what you want sexually from your partner, you may not be ready for sexual activity with them.
Be clear about what you want, listen to your partner, and ask when the situation is unclear.
Interrupting “locker room talk” and other patterns of casual disrespect can change people’s attitudes and behavior, and even help prevent future sexual violence. You wouldn’t tolerate someone committing sexual violence — and you shouldn’t tolerate them talking about it, either.
It can be awkward to confront your friends if they’re being disrespectful. But having a difficult conversation with them can make a real difference in their attitudes and actions.
Join a sexual violence prevention group, go to a sexual violence prevention event on campus, or take a workshop that will teach you how to help prevent sexual violence.
The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion provides guidance for helping students who are victims of sexual assault.
We also encourage you to attend educational workshops and programs related to sexual violence prevention, and request a workshop for your class or group, if appropriate.
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If you or someone you know needs support dealing with the emotional, physical or legal challenges of surviving a sexual assault or other unwanted sexual experience, we can help you.