Preventing Sexual Violence

When It's Seen - Intervene

Students holding signs raising awareness for sexual violence.

Students participating in "Walk a Mile," an annual sexual violence awareness walk here at UB.

Everyone can make a difference in preventing sexual violence on campus. Resources are available for students, faculty and staff.

What is Sexual Violence?

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:

  • Unwanted touching
  • Dating violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual harassment
  • Non-consensual image sharing
  • Rape
  • Relationship abuse
  • Stalking

What Is, and Why is Consent Important?

What is Consent

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.

  • Just because someone is silent or doesn’t resist does not mean that they consent to the activity
  • Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force or threat of harm
  • Consent cannot be given when someone is incapacitated

Why is Consent Important?

You need consent every time, with everyone.

  • Consent doesn’t vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression
  • Just because someone consented to one sexual act (including previous sexual activity with anyone) doesn’t mean they consent to another sexual act
  • If the person initiating the act is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, you still need their consent
  • Even if someone gives consent initially, they can withdraw it at any time

Using Alcohol or Other Drugs?

When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.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.

Support After an Unwanted Sexual Experience

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.

See options for after an unwanted sexual experience.

Violence Prevention Events

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Be a NOBULL Bystander

We all have a role to play in making UB a safe environment to live, learn, and explore.  Being an empowered bystander can help us move from standing by to stepping up.  It’s not always easy, but each of us can help in our own way, and we can learn skills to help in safer and more effective ways.

Five Steps to Successful Bystander Intervention

Helping is about five separate decisions:

  1. Notice the Event: Be aware of your surroundings, and watch for warning signs.
  2. Interpret the Event as a Problem: If something is unclear, clear it up. Don’t just brush it off.
  3. Assume Personal Responsibility: Don’t assume someone else will help.  
  4. Know How To Help: Learn direct and indirect ways to help.
  5. Implement the Help: Choose the safest, most appropriate strategy and step up.

Three D's of Bystander Intervention

  1. Direct: Directly address the problem behavior.   
  2. Distract: Anything that safely distracts someone enough to discontinue the problem behavior.
  3. Delegate: If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe intervening, delegate the intervention to someone more appropriate. 

Five Reasons Why We Intervene

  1. It’s the right thing to do
  2. I would want someone to help me in that situation
  3. Someone needed help
  4. People should look out for each other
  5. So the situation wouldn’t escalate 

Take the Next Step

Help make UB a safer place to live, work, and learn. Take the training to be an empowered bystander or join our nationally-recognized team of student leaders.

Take our Peer Education Course, UBE 110, and become a Nationally Certified Health & Wellness Peer Educator.

Request a Bystander Intervention Training for your club, organization, or area, or attend our next scheduled training.

Good Samaritan Policy

The Good Samaritan Policy eliminates disciplinary consequences for you and the people you are with if you call for help when drinking or using drugs. The health and safety of UB students is our first priority. 

Learn more about the Good Samaritan Policy.

Need Help?

Campus Resources

On-campus emergencies and crime prevention, 24/7

Bissell Hall, North Campus

Phone: (716) 645-2227; Emergencies: (716) 645-2222

A confidential resource who can inform you of your options and support you with every step that you decide to take

On-Campus Advocate

Crisis Services

315 Michael Hall, South Campus

Phone: Call or text (716) 796-4399; 24-hour hotline: (716) 834-3131

Student conduct rules and regulations, and campus-wide student support

University at Buffalo
9 Norton Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: (716) 645-6154; Fax: (716) 645-3376

Short-term on campus mental health support

University at Buffalo
120 Richmond Quadrangle, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14261

Phone: (716) 645-2720; Fax: (716) 645-2175

University at Buffalo
202 Michael Hall, South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-5800

Primary, non-emergency medical care

Health Services

Student Life

University at Buffalo
Michael Hall, 3435 Main Street, South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-3316; Fax: (716) 829-2564

Preventative health and wellness education

Health Promotion

Student Life

University at Buffalo
114 Student Union, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: (716) 645-2837; Fax: (716) 645-6234

Support for addressing discrimination and harassment

406 Capen Hall, North Campus

Phone: (716) 645-2266

Additional Resources

Sexual Assault

Relationship Abuse and Domestic Violence Support


  • NYS Domestic & Sexual Violence 24-hour Hotline  1-800-492-6906
  • Domestic Violence Shelter 24-hour Hotline (716) 884-6000
Crisis Text Line

Need to talk? The Crisis Text Line provides 24-hour support for people experiencing a mental health or situational crisis. Users are connected to a trained Crisis Counselor, who will help them develop a plan to stay safe. Messages are confidential, anonymous and secure. Data usage while texting the Crisis Text Line is free and the number will not appear on a phone bill. Text: “GOT5” to 741-741