When to Intervene.

This excellent post discusses some of the ways the community can prevent sexual assault by intervening when a wo/man is trapped or one witnesses aggression.

Here’s an excerpt:

Take the person you’re concerned about away from the possible threat. The tough part of this is that many Pick Up Artist and other dating advice books tell people to separate the one they are interested in from friends they might be hanging out with. Literally, these books give advice to enable predatory behavioral patterns (a whole other article could be written about that problem). Even without the assistance of such books, many people have learned that doing such a thing is a part of our own courting process. But, when a person is in danger, this kind of action keeps them from being able to seek help. No matter if the person who has separated another person from their peers is dangerous or not, your actions have to assume that your friend may not be able to express to them any concerns and that they may not be able to share their concerns with you if the person is nearby. So, getting the person you’re concerned about away from them is the very first step to ensuring their safety. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop anything from happening, this just means you are giving them the ability to voice any concerns they might have.

Many people take a “wingman” or “wingwoman” with them to help them find companionship in social settings, usually in bars or at parties. This person is usually supposed to help distract whatever peers are present that might be occupying the time of whoever their friend is interested in.* Don’t allow such a person to interfere with you trying to interact with the person you’re concerned about. Let them know that you need to talk to someone and when you get your friend away from the person that has caused concern, be sure you’re also away from the wingman/woman…

…If you still have to deal with the other person, be straight-forward. You can tell the person that your friend is drunk, that they can’t reasonably consent to sex. Let them know that you’re aware that they might be interested in your friend. Don’t dismiss their interest, but be clear that your friend is not capable of setting her own safe boundaries, right then. Understand that they might see this as a confrontation. Stopping them might upset them, so do your best to not invalidate them, while still protecting your friend. If they offer a phone number, take it and say you’ll give it to your friend in the morning. If they want to talk to your friend, tell them that they can do that when your friend is sober (or when your friend is done talking to you, whichever seems more likely or reasonable). If they seem like a real risk, let them know that it is their responsibility not to cause your friend harm and remind them that you’re simply someone who has a concern.

If they become aggressive or frustrated, acknowledge their frustration, but let them know that your concern is going to have to take priority over their frustration. It isn’t personal, it is simply a matter of safety. The pursuant might deny that anything is wrong, even if the acquaintance is upset. Be prepared to let them know that if you determine that there’s nothing wrong, you’ll let your friend go with them.

Take your friend to someplace safe. If they seem to be impaired, then it is likely that they might need help finding a safe place to be. Find someone that can be trusted to help you get them to a safe place or plan on spending the evening with them where they are safe from whatever threat might be present. Try to form a plan for their safety, if you haven’t already planned something with them, earlier. If you are not familiar enough with the person to get them to safety, try to find someone who is and ask them to help you.

Read all of “Rape Discussion: When to Intervene” here.

-_Q

Olivia M. Grey lives in the cobwebbed corners of her mind writing paranormal romance with a Steampunk twist, like the Amazon Gothic Romance bestseller Avalon Revisited. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines and anthologies, like SNM Horror Magazine and How the West Was Wicked. Ms. Grey also blogs and podcasts relationship essays covering such topics as alternative lifestyles, deepening intimacy, ending a relationship with love and respect, and other deliciously dark and decadent matters of the heart and soul.

Read more by O. M. Grey on her blog Caught in the Cogs, http://omgrey.wordpress.com

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