Rape is a difficult subject to talk about but it's only through raising awareness that attitudes will change.
Find out about the law regarding rape and understand that no matter what the circumstances are, sex without consent is rape. If there is any doubt about whether the person you’re with is consenting, don’t have sex.
Challenge attitudes that disturb you. For example, if a friend makes a joke about rape, tell them it’s not funny. More often than not you’ll find others share your opinion.
Listen to the other person and treat them with respect – effective communication is key to healthy sexual relationships. It’s important to talk to your partner and listen to their wishes. Any kind of sexual act must be consensual – both partners should agree to it and be happy with it.
If you’re with friends and become aware of a situation developing, don’t stay silent. For example where one or both parties are too drunk to have consensual sex, go and have a quiet word with your friend. It might feel awkward and difficult to intervene, but you are looking out for them in what could potentially be a risky situation. Also, if you see a similar situation arising outwith your group of friends, tell someone in authority, for example a bartender or door steward.
Consider the messages you hear about how men should act and think about your own actions, attitudes and behaviours. Understand that behaviour, such as pub chat about a woman ‘asking for it’ because of what she is wearing, can perpetuate harmful attitudes towards sexism and sexual violence. Work towards positively changing attitudes. Choose what kind of guy you want to be.
If you know or suspect someone close to you has been abused or sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help. Offer them your support and encourage them to contact the police. There are also a range of support organisation which can help.