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Relationship Violence Prevention

UW Oshkosh Encourages Healthy Relationship Behavior

UW Oshkosh encourages men and women to take proactive steps to prevent relationship violence, such as:

  • Talk with your partner about sexual contact and getting an explicit, verbal “yes” to such sexual contact.
  • Abstain from underage drinking, and moderate your legal alcohol consumption.
  • Speak directly with your partner about sex.
  • Clarify your partner’s responses and feelings about your interactions.
  • Avoid assuming your partner wants what you want from a relationship or intimate encounter.
  • Identify and dismantle stereotypes about what it means to be a woman or a man.
  • Speak up to peers to confront inappropriate language and behavior that is derogatory about women or that denigrates men for not meeting male gender stereotypes.

Sexual Assault Protection

The vast majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim knows or has met. Sexual assault is NOT the result of a communication problem. Sexual assault means sexual contact without consent. Many victims communicate their wishes very directly and still get assaulted. However, there are some things that you can do to avoid situations that may lead to assault.

  1. Saying “no” clearly and directly may, in some situations, decrease the risk of sexual assault.
  2. State what you wish and expect the other person to respect those wishes. We urge you to discuss your values and expectations about sex early in any relationship, ideally before a sexual situation arises.
  3. Listen carefully. Take the time to hear what your partner is saying. If you feel he or she is not being direct or is giving you a "mixed message," ask for clarification.
  4. Consent is an agreement that two people must make. Know that consent to sexual contact means both partners are actively participating and have the right to:

              a.    Choose not to be intimate
              b.    Change their mind at anytime
              c.    Not feel coerced or obligated to be sexual

  1. Set sexual limits. Be firm and forceful. Do not worry about being polite, hurting someone’s feelings, or making a “scene.” Passivity may be interpreted as permission. It is your body and no one has the right to force you to do anything you do not want to do.
  2. Listen to your internal feelings and reactions. Trust your instincts. Be aware of situations in which you feel uncomfortable and take action immediately.
  3. Avoid isolated, poorly lit areas. Be in the company of another person you trust. If you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings, leave immediately. Don’t hesitate to use your cell phone and call 911 or, on campus, use the blue light emergency phones.
  4. Use CSO Safe Walk Program, the campus escort service (424-1212).
  5. In the residence halls and apartment complexes, do not let people you do not know accompany you into the building.
  6. Watch your keys. Do no lend them, leave them or lose them. Don’t put your name, address, phone number or Titan Card on your key ring.
  7. Lock your doors (car and residence) and windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes. Don’t prop open security doors.
  8. Go to and leave parties with the same friends. Keep a watch out for each other. Never leave a party alone or let an acquaintance take you home alone. Leave with someone you absolutely trust.
  9. Do not accept open or poured drinks or leave your drink unattended. Alcohol and drugs can compromise your judgment and your ability to take care of yourself and make safe choices.


You can help someone who is abused or who has been assaulted by listening and offering comfort. Go with her or him to the police, the hospital, or to counseling. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault and that it is natural to feel angry and ashamed.

*Adapted from UWO CARE/MENCARE prevention materials and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.


Persons interested in programs or courses regarding protective behaviors should contact REACH (see Resources) for information. Campus for Awareness and Relationship Education (CARE) is a campus-wide peer education and prevention program sponsored by the Counseling Center. For information regarding this program, please contact the Counseling Center in the Student Success Center, Suite 240, (920) 424-2061.


The safety and well-being of all students, faculty, and staff are goals at UW Oshkosh, and there are various programs, policies and services that exist on our campus to assist us in achieving this goal. Detailed information regarding campus safety, along with the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act and Police Statement may be obtained from the Dean of Students Office. This publication includes information such as reporting of criminal activities or emergencies on campus; general access to and use of University facilities; roles and responsibility of the University Police; programs and literature distribution regarding crime prevention; statistics regarding certain criminal offenses that took place on our campus and were reported to campus authorities for the past three years; number of arrests for certain crimes; and regulations regarding the possession, use and sale of alcohol and illegal drugs.

If your partner, friend or family member is a UWO student and has experienced any form of sexual violence, encourage them to see the Campus Victim Advocate. You could even go along if that makes them more comfortable. The Advocate is located in the Counseling Center, in the Student Success center and can help UWO students figure out their options.


  • Sexual assault
  • Harassment
  • Dating/domestic violence
  • Stalking

The Advocate is a great support person as the victim decides what to do and how to cope with this difficult situation.

Safety planning, understanding how/if to report to police or campus authorities, filing restraining orders, going to court and restoring a sense of control are some of the areas where an advocate can help.

All services are free and confidential. Please call 424-2061 to reach the Advocate.

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by Heenan, Andrea last modified Apr 02, 2013 06:37 AM