Talking Points About Sexual Assault with Your Student

SHARPP provides free and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies, and by offer awareness and prevention programs to the University of New Hampshire community. Use the below list of talking points to better prepare your student upon entering their first year of college.

  • Learn more about sexual assault within a college setting. College campuses are highly social environments that provide rapists with a variety of opportunities to commit sexual assault. The majority of survivors knew the perpetrator at least casually prior to the assault. Just because students are in a college setting doesnt mean that everyone is well-intentioned and that they should let their guard down, especially with people they may barely know.
  • Explain to your student that consent is more than “no means no,” and that obtaining permission before engaging in any sexual activity is essential.
  • Discuss the relationship between alcohol use and ones ability to make safe choices, or to help friends. While alcohol use doesnt cause sexual assault, it can make someone more vulnerable to a sexual predator.
  • Plan ways to be safe in advance. Making sure friends stay together, developing verbal or non-verbal signals to let your friends know you need help and frequent check-ins are all ways to increase safety in social situations. Strategize about things that your student can do to if s/he is faced with a potentially dangerous situation.
  • Talk about how to get help. Talking about programming 911 into ones phone, learning how to engage potential allies in difficult situations and other strategies are examples of conversations you can have prior to arriving at UNH.
  • Emphasize that there is never an excuse for hurting or violating someone else, and that rape is never the survivor’s fault, no matter what.
  • Encourage your student to find out how they can help in preventing sexual violence and relationship abuse on campus. SHARPP has excellent volunteer opportunities for all students.