Learn Your APCD’s of Sexual Assault Prevention

Learn Your APCD’s of Sexual Assault Prevention

By Samantha Jean
Wayside Trauma Intervention Services, education and outreach coordinator

In honor of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), we’re sharing a quick and easy way to think about sexual assault prevention – remember your APCD’s!

• Remember that your actions have an impact. In short, this means that one way to prevent violence is to not create or feed into violence.
• In addition to holding yourself accountable, when it is safe to do so, hold others accountable by calling them into conversation if you see violent actions or language.

Phone a friend:
• Sometimes we are not able to check in on a friend, even when we feel that they need help. You might not be the right person to help but you can find someone who is. Look to your friend or family member’s support systems around them – other relatives, teachers, mentors or religious/community leaders that they might feel more comfortable speaking with?

Check in:
• If you are worried about someone, or see something happen to someone AND you feel comfortable reaching out, do it!
• Checking in does not have to be complicated: “Hey are you okay?” “I saw ______ happen, how are you feeling?,” or “What do you need from me?”
• Try to be a supportive, listening ear and believe what the person at risk says.

Distance the person at risk:
• If you are worried about someone’s future or immediate safety and feel you can safely intervene, try to separate the person at risk from the potential danger.
• This can look like: “want to hang out this weekend?,” or “I’m not feeling this place anymore, let’s go somewhere else!”

Now an easy way to remember the rules of consent! Think of FRIES:

Freely given. A choice you make without pressure, manipulation or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Reversible. Anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’ve already started.
Informed. You can only consent to something if you have the full story. For example, if someone says they’ll use a condom and then they don’t, there isn’t full consent.
Enthusiastic. When it comes to sex, you should only do stuff you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do.
Specific. Saying yes to one thing (e.g. kissing) doesn’t mean you’ve said yes to others (e.g. having sex).

NOTE: Consent is not limited to sexual interactions! It is important to be aware of people’s boundaries and get consent for non-sexual interactions, too. For example, “can I give you a hug?,” or “is it okay if we talk about _____?,” and “can I post this picture of you?”

Remember, these skills will only prevent violence if you practice and use them.


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