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Chemical Biological Incident Response Force

 

Chemical Biological Incident Response Force

U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command

Indian Head, MD

NSF INDIAN HEAD 24/7 LOCAL SEXUAL ASSAULT SUPPORT LINE:

(540) 424 -0660









Mission
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program reinforces the Marine Corps commitment to eliminate incidents of sexual assault through a comprehensive policy that centers on awareness and prevention, training and education, victim advocacy, response, reporting, and accountability. Marine Corps policy promotes sensitive care and confidential reporting for victims of sexual assault and accountability for those who commit these crimes.

Sexual Assault Prevention
Sexual Assault is a crime defined as intentional sexual contact characterized by the use of force, threats, intimidation, or abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent.  Sexual assault includes a broad category of sexual offenses consisting of the following specific UCMJ offenses:  rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, forcible sodomy (forced oral or anal sex), or attempts to commit these acts.

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s job, pay, or career, or
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as a basis for career or employment decisions affecting that person, or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.  Workplace conduct, to be actionable as “abusive work environment” harassment, need not result in concrete psychological harm to the victim, but rather need only be so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would perceive, and the victim does perceive, the work environment as hostile or abusive.  Any person in a supervisory or command position who uses or condones any form of sexual behavior to control, influence, or effect the career, pay, or job of a military member or civilian employee is engaging in sexual harassment.  Similarly, any military member or civilian employee who makes deliberate or repeated unwelcome verbal comments, gestures, or physical contact of a sexual nature in the workplace is also engaging in sexual harassment.

The Manpower Equal Opportunity Branch is responsible for developing and administering the equal opportunity policies for the Marine Corps. 

Local assistance can be obtained by contacting the Command Equal Opportunity Advisor at (301) 744-1027.

If you have been sexually assaulted or think you have been:

•Go to a safe location away from the attacker.

•Contact a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Uniformed Victim Advocate (UVA), Victim Advocate (VA), or Military One Source for Restricted/Unrestricted reporting.

•Seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant or acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.

•Ask the healthcare provider to conduct a sexual assault forensic examination (SAFE) to preserve forensic evidence. 

•If you suspect you have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected.

•If you suspect you have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected.

•Preserve all evidence of the assault. Do not bathe, wash your hands or brush your teeth.  Do not clean or straighten up the crime scene.

•Write down, tape or record by any other means all the details you can recall about the assault and your assailant.

Local Contact Information:

Emergency

911

Maryland State Police

(301) 392-1200

Charles County Police Department

(301) 934-2222

Victim Service Coordinators

(301) 609-3246, (301) 609-3245

CBIRF Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)

LT Clifton D. Butler, Command SARC

Phone: (301 728-9619

Email: Clifton.Butler@usmc.mil

Henderson Hall Family Advocacy/Counseling Services and Victim Advocate (VA) Coordinator

(703) 614-7204/(703) 336-2933    M-F 0730-1630

Fort Myer-Henderson Hall PMO

(703) 696-3525 for after hours Victim Advocate support

CBIRF Chaplain

(301)744-2088/2017

(240) 419-9457

Military One Source Website 

(800) 342-9647, stateside

(877) 888-0727, Spanish

00-800-3429-6477, Overseas

(484) 530-5908, Overseas collect

24-hours a day/7-days a week

National Sexual Assault Hotline

(1-800) 656-HOPE

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Commanding Officer

Chemical Biological Incident Response Force

*Policy Letter*





Sexual Assault is the most under reported crime in our society and in the military.  While the Department of Defense prefers complete reporting of sexual assaults to activate both victims’ services and law enforcement actions, it recognizes that some victims desire only medical and support services and no command or law enforcement involvement.  The Department believes its first priority is for victims to be protected, treated with dignity and respect, and to receive the medical treatment, care and counseling that they deserve.  Under DoD’s Confidentiality Policy, military victims of sexual assault have two reporting options Restricted and Unrestricted Military retirees, dependents, and other civilian victims currently may only use Unrestricted reporting.

The Department of Defense and U.S. Marine Corps is committed to providing you full and complete care, treatment and counseling.  Every effort will be made to ensure you will receive all necessary services, even if it must obtain them from civilian providers.

The position of Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) has been established to coordinate sexual assault victim care.  Upon receipt of a report of sexual assault, the SARC will assign a Uniformed Victim Advocate (UVA) or  coordinate to have a Victim Advocate (VA) to help you obtain necessary services and to provide crisis intervention, referral and ongoing non-clinical support.  Support will include providing information on available options and resources so you can make informed decisions about your case.

The UVA/VA will accompany you, if desired, to investigative interviews, medical examinations and follow-up appointments.

Your UVA/VA will continue to assist you until you no longer feel a need for support.

Restricted reporting allows a sexual assault victim to confidentially disclose the details of his or her assault to specified individuals and receive medical treatment and counseling, without triggering the official investigative process.  Service members who are sexually assaulted and desire restricted reporting under this policy may only report the assault to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Uniformed Victim Advocate (UVA), Victim Advocate (VA), or a Healthcare Provider (HCP).  However, consistent with current policy, they may also report the assault to a chaplain.  Although a report to a chaplain is not a restricted report under this policy or the provisions of this Directive, it is a communication that may be protected under the Military Rules of Evidence (MRE) or applicable statutes and regulations.  The restricted reporting process does not affect any privilege recognized under the MRE.  This Directive and its policy on restricted reporting is in addition to the current protections afforded privileged communications with a chaplain, and does not alter or affect those protections.

Healthcare providers will initiate the appropriate care and treatment, and report the sexual assault to the SARC in lieu of reporting the assault to law enforcement or the command.  Upon notification of a reported sexual assault, the SARC will immediately assign a UVA/VA to the victim.  The assigned Victim Advocate will provide accurate information on the process of restricted vice unrestricted reporting. At the victim’s discretion/request an appropriately trained healthcare provider shall conduct a sexual assault forensic examination (SAFE), which may include the collection of evidence.  In the absence of a DoD provider, the service member will be referred to an appropriate civilian facility for the SAFE.

Who May Make A Restricted Report

Restricted reporting is available at this time only to military personnel of the Armed Forces and the Coast Guard.  Military personnel include members on active duty and members of the Reserve component (Reserve and National Guard) provided they are performing federal duty (active duty training or inactive duty training and members of the National Guard in Federal (Title 10) status).  Members of the Reserve Component not performing Federal duty are not eligible.  Retired members of any component are not eligible.  Dependents are not eligible.  DoD civilian employees are not eligible.

Example Restricted Reporting

- Service Member Smith arrives at the base medical emergency room and reports she has been sexually assaulted.  Healthcare providers immediately notify the SARC and begin any appropriate emergency medical treatment.

- The SARC assigns a UVA/VA to assist Service Member Smith.  The UVA/VA meets Service Member Smith at the hospital and explains the Unrestricted/Restricted Reporting options and the processes associated with each, to include applicable pros/cons.
.
- Service Member Smith elects the Restricted Reporting option.
.
- Service Member Smith is asked if she would like a forensic examination, and she agrees.

- The UVA/VA advises the Healthcare Provider that Service Member Smith has elected the Restricted Reporting option and would like a SAFE.

- Forensic evidence of the assault is collected and preserved in a non-personally identifying manner.
.
- The Healthcare Provider determines and schedules follow-up medical treatment as appropriate.

- The UVA/VA advises the SARC that Service Member Smith has elected the Restricted Reporting option.

- Within 24 hours of Service Member Smith’s restricted report, the SARC will inform the Senior Commander that an assault has occurred, and provide the Commander with non-identifying personal information/details related to the sexual assault allegation.  This information includes: rank; gender; age; race; service; date; time and/or location. Information is disclosed in a manner that preserves the victim’s anonymity.  Careful consideration of which details to include is of particular significance at installations or other locations where there are a limited number of minority females or female officers assigned.

- The Senior Commander may notify the Criminal Investigators.  However, no criminal investigation will be initiated unless originated from another source or the victim elects to come forward via unrestricted reporting.  The Senior Commander identifies trends and takes appropriate measures (i.e. increased security patrols, enhanced education and training, enhanced environmental and safety measures) to prevent further sexual assaults.

- The SARC maintains information regarding the number of sexual assaults for both unrestricted and restricted reports.  Restricted report numbers will be included in the annual report.  The SARC will also capture trends and perform trend analysis.  SARC awareness of trends will be a first line of defense against a potential serial assailant.  The SARC can at any time return to Service Member Smith to ask if she is willing to reconsider her restricted reporting decision given the potential of a serial offender.

- The UVA/VA maintains communication and contact with the victim as needed for continued victim support.

Considerations when Electing a Restricted Reporting Decision

Benefits
- You receive appropriate medical treatment, advocacy, and counseling.
- Provides some personal space and time to consider your options and to begin the healing process.
- Empowers you to seek relevant information and support to make more informed decisions about participating in the criminal investigation.
- You control the release and management of your personal information.
- You decide whether and when to move forward with initiating an investigation.

Limitations
-
Your assailant remains unpunished and capable of assaulting other victims.
- You cannot receive a military protective order.
- You will continue to have contact with your assailant, if he/she is in your organization or billeted with you.
- Evidence from the crime scene where the assault occurred will be lost, and the official investigation, should you switch to an unrestricted report, will likely encounter significant obstacles.
- You will not be able to discuss the assault with anyone, to include your friends, without imposing an obligation on them to report the crime. The only exceptions would be chaplains, designated healthcare providers, your assigned victim advocate, and the sexual assault response coordinator.
 
You will be ineligible to invoke the collateral misconduct provision of the Department’s sexual assault policy in the event that your command learns that you had been engaged in some form of

 

This option is recommended for victims of sexual assault who desire medical treatment, counseling and an official investigation of the crime.  When selecting unrestricted reporting, you should use current reporting channels, e.g. chain of command, law enforcement or report the incident to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), or request healthcare providers to notify law enforcement.  Upon notification of a reported sexual assault, the SARC will immediately assign a Uniformed Victim Advocate (VA) or Victim Advocate (VA).  At the victim’s discretion/request, the healthcare provider shall conduct a sexual assault forensic examination (SAFE), which may include the collection of evidence.  Details regarding the incident will be limited to only those personnel who have a legitimate need to know.

Unrestricted Reporting Example:

-
Service Member Smith arrives at the base medical emergency room and reports she has been sexually assaulted.  Healthcare providers immediately notify the SARC and begin administration of any emergency medical treatment as appropriate.

- The SARC assigns a UVA/VA to assist Service Member Smith.  The UVA/VA meets Service Member Smith at the hospital, explains the Unrestricted/Restricted Reporting options and processes associated with each to include applicable pros/cons.

- Service Member Smith elects the Unrestricted Reporting option.

- The UVA/VA immediately notifies the appropriate Criminal Investigative Service and the victim’s unit commander.

- Criminal Investigators arrive and begin the investigation.

- Service Member Smith is asked if she would like a SAFE, and she agrees.

- The UVA/VA advises the Healthcare Provider that Service Member Smith has elected the Unrestricted Reporting option and would like a SAFE.

- Forensic evidence of the assault is collected by healthcare providers, and at its conclusion, criminal investigators take chain of custody.

- The Healthcare Provider determines and schedules follow-up medical treatment as appropriate.

- The UVA/VA advises the SARC that Service Member Smith has elected the Unrestricted Reporting option.

- In addition to any current existing channels of notification, within 24 hours of Service Member Smith’s Unrestricted report, the SARC will inform the Senior Commander that an assault has occurred, and provide the Commander with the details of the assault.

- The SARC maintains information regarding the number of sexual assaults for both unrestricted and restricted reports.  Restricted report numbers will be included in the annual report.  The SARC will also capture trends and perform trend analysis.

- The UVA/VA maintains communications and contact with victim as needed for continued victim support.

- Misconduct at the time you were assaulted.

The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) is considered the center of gravity when it comes to ensuring that victims of sexual assault receive appropriate and responsive care.  The SARC serves as the single point of contact to coordinate sexual assault victim care.   The term Sexual Assault Response Coordinator is a standardized term utilized throughout DoD and the Services to facilitate communication and transparency regarding sexual assault response capability.

Functions of the CBIRF Sexual Assault Response Coordinator:

- Reports directly to the senior installation or geographic Commander
*Provides the CBIRF Battalion Commander with broader understanding of command climate in regards to sexual assault

- Manages Uniformed Victim Advocates (UVA) during the performance of advocacy duties
*Oversight of all sexual assault cases
*Assigns a UVAs to cases/ coordinates for VA assignments to CBIRF cases

- Conducts sexual assault case management
*Entire lifecycle
*Tracks services of victim from initial report to resolution

- Chairs monthly case management meeting

- Tracks/Reports sexual assault numbers
*Tracks the dispositions of all military sexual assault cases Monthly / Quarterly / Annual Reports

- Oversees training and education
*Uniformed Victim Advocates
*Responders

The Uniformed Victim Advocate (UVA) and Victim Advocate (VA) provide essential support and care to the victim to include providing non-clinical information on available options and resources to assist the victim in making informed decisions as they progress through resolution and healing.  The UVA/VA maintains communications and contact with the victim as needed for continued victim support.

Functions of a Uniformed Victim Advocate (UVA) and Victim Advocate (VA)

- Reports directly to Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for Victim Advocate Duties

- A Victim Advocate may be military, civilian or a contractor

- Supports assigned victim
*Crisis Intervention
*Referrals
*Ongoing Non-Clinical Support
*Policy / Process Guidance
...Information on Options
...Information and Referral to Resources
*Facilitates Monthly Case Status Updates
*Available to respond 24/7

DoD’s Confidentiality policy permits victims of sexual assault to report the crime to specified individuals who can then ensure the victim receives medical care, treatment and counseling without notifying command or law enforcement officials.  Covered individuals include the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC); Uniformed Victim Advocates (UVA) and Victim Advocates (VA); Healthcare Providers; and Chaplains.  For purposes of public safety and command responsibility, the SARC will notify the installation commander that an assault has occurred and provide details that will not identify the victim. See the Department of Defense Directive 6495.01, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program for complete details.

This policy provides victims some personal space and time, and increased control over the release and management of their personal information.  This hopefully empowers them to seek relevant information and support to make more informed decisions about participating in the criminal investigation.   Jurisdictions with similar policies have found that confidentiality actually leads to increased reporting rates.  Even if the victim chooses not to pursue an official investigation, this additional reporting avenue gives commanders a clearer picture of the sexual violence within their command, and enhances a commander’s ability to provide an environment which is safe and contributes to the well-being and mission-readiness of all of its members.

The nature of the investigative process can be stressful for victims of sexual assault despite the sincere efforts of law enforcement, staff judge advocate and other personnel entrusted with bringing offenders to justice. Investigators must carefully collect evidence, and the process from investigation to courts martial or some other form of punishment may take many months. They must often ask you, the victim, very precise and probing questions because there usually are no eyewitnesses to provide crucial details. You may not feel you are ready to answer questions so soon after your assault, but the investigators need to interview you while your memories are fresh. Much patience will be required on your part.

You will be kept well-informed of any investigative actions taken in response to your reported sexual assault. Your commander, will ensure, at a minimum, you receive a monthly update regarding the current status of any on-going investigative, medical, legal or command proceedings regarding the sexual assault. This requirement is in addition to those established by the Victim-Witness Assistance Program. Monthly updates are required until the final disposition of the reported assault. “Final disposition” means the conclusion of any judicial, non-judicial, and administrative actions (including separation actions and no action).

The Department of Defense Victim Witness Assistance Program assists victims of crime -- including sexual assault -- by providing information and access to resources.  DoD Directive 1030.1, Victim and Witness Assistance (April 13, 2004) and DoD Instruction 1030.2 Victim and Witness Procedures (June 4, 2004) implement statutory requirements for the DoD programs.  These DoD policies also provide guidance for assisting victims and witnesses of crime from initial contact through investigation, prosecution, and confinement.  Particular attention is paid to victims of serious and violent crime, including child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual misconduct.

Victim's Bill of Rights

The Directive includes a DoD Victims' Bill of Rights which resembles the Federal Crime Victims' Bill of Rights.  DoD law enforcement and legal personnel directly engaged in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crimes are responsible for ensuring that victims of military-related crime are accorded the following rights:

•  1) Be treated with fairness and respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.

•  2) Be reasonably protected from the accused offender.

•  3) Be notified of court proceedings.

•  4) Be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, unless the court determines that testimony by the victim would be materially affected if the victim heard other testimony at trial.

•  5) Confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.

•  6) Receive available restitution

•  7) Be provided information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the offender.

Additionally, court-martial convening authorities, as well as clemency and parole boards are directed to consider making restitution to the victim a condition of pretrial agreements, sentence reduction, clemency, and parole.  They may consider victim statements on the impact of crime when reviewing a case.

Important DoD Information Forms for Victims

Victim and witness assistance programs throughout DoD use standard forms to advise victims and witnesses of their rights during all stages of a case.  Each military service is also required to provide DoD an annual report indicating the numbers of victims and witnesses who have received assistance and services.  The following chart lists the DoD forms number, the title of the form, when they are used, and their purpose.

DD Form 2701: Initial Information for Victims and Witnesses of Crime

Initial Contact:  Provides notice to victims and witnesses on rights and information on the military justice system and points of contact.

DD Forms 2702/2703:  Court Martial Information for Victims and Witnesses of Crime and Post-Trial Information for Victims and Witnesses of Crime

Prosecution:  Provides notice to victims and witnesses on rights during court-martial proceedings and process and during the command's decision making process.

DD Forms 2704/2705: Victim/Witness Certification and Election Concerning Inmate Status and Victim/Witness Notification of Inmate Status

Confinement: Provides information to victims and witness on the offender's sentence, confinement status, clemency and parole hearings and release from confinement.

DoD's Victim and Witness Definitions

The DoD uses the following definitions for victim and witness, but more information may be available through your installation's Victim Witness Assistance Program, which is usually located in the installation legal office (Judge Advocate).

A victim is a person who has suffered direct physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of a crime committed in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Victims of crime in other jurisdictions are also included if any portion of the investigation is conducted primarily by an agency in the DoD.  Such individuals include, but are not limited to, the following:

•  Military members and their family members

•  DoD civilian employees, contractors, and their family members (when stationed outside the continental United States ).  However, in stateside locations this group is not eligible for some services, such as medical care in military medical facilities.

•  Children or people needing representation.  When a victim is under 18 years of age, incompetent, incapacitated, or deceased, the term, victim, includes one of the following (in order of precedence): a spouse, legal guardian, parent, child, sibling, another family member, or another person designated by a court or legal authority.

A witness is a person who provides information or evidence about a criminal offense within the investigative responsibility of the DoD.  When the witness is a minor, the term witness includes a minor's family member or legal guardian.  The term does not include a defense witness or an individual involved in the crime as a perpetrator or accomplice.

Victim Witness Assistance Program

Once an investigation is initiated, a Victim Witness Assistance Provider (VWAP) is available to assist sexual assault victims.  A VWAP assists victims with exercising their federally mandated rights and with navigating the criminal justice system.  VWAPs also provide information on services and resources, interact with lawyers and commanders.  VWAPs help ensure the victim's situation is respected, that victims have a voice in the process, and that victims are kept informed of the status of the investigation and prosecution.

Resources

To locate your Victim Witness Assistance Provider, you should contact your local installation's office of the Staff Judge Advocate or Judge Advocate General.

For additional information or to find Victim Witness Assistance Points of Contact:

DoD Victim and Witness Assistance Council 

Office for Victims of Crime (Department of Justice) 

Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office 

Email: SAPRO@wso.whs.mil

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), someone is sexually assaulted in the United States every two minutes.  By being prepared, alert and assertive, you can reduce your risk of being sexually assaulted.

Be Assertive

- Being assertive means that you state what you want.

- Remember: "No" means "No." If you do not want to be intimate with another person, tell him or her clearly. Use a confident voice and body posture.

- Match your body language to your words - don't laugh and smile while saying "No."

- Do not just "go along" for the wrong reasons.

- Watch out for warning signs or "red flags" from your partner in intimate situations.

Be Prepared

- Travel with a buddy.

- Stay in groups, as there is safety in numbers.

- Plan your outings and avoid getting into a bad situation.

- Stay sober. Studies indicate that about half of all U.S. sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol by the offender, the victim, or both.

- Never leave a drink unattended. Educate yourself about date rape drugs.

- Walk only in lighted areas after dark.

- Keep the doors to homes, barracks, and cars locked.

- Don't go anywhere alone with someone unless you know the person very well and trust him or her.

- Know where the phone is located.

Red Flags to Watch Out For:
You should be especially alert if the person you are with:

- Ignores, interrupts, or makes fun of you

- Sits or stands too close to you or stares at you

- Has a reputation for being a "player"

- Drinks too much or uses drugs; tries to get you to use drugs or alcohol

- Tries to touch or kiss you or gets into your "personal space" when you barely know him or her

- Wants to be alone with you before getting to know you, or pressures you to be alone together

- Does what he or she wants without asking what you want

- Gets angry or sulks if he or she doesn't get what he or she wants

- Pressures you to have sex, or tries to make you feel guilty for saying "no." 
 
Be Alert

- Trust your instincts; if a place or person feels unsafe, it probably is.

- Watch for signs of trouble such as strangers in private areas or persons loitering in places where they shouldn't be.

- If you sense trouble, get to a safe place as soon as possible.

- If you feel you are in danger, attract help any way you can.

- Don't dress in view of a window.

"Acquaintance rape," which includes date rape, refers to those rapes that occur between people that know one another. "Date rape" refers to situations in which one person has consented to go on a date with another person and that person then rapes him or her.

According to RAINN, about two-thirds of sexual assault victims in the United States knew their assailants.

According to the Sexual Assault Risk Reduction Curriculum, produced by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the City of San Diego, to reduce your risk of acquaintance or date rape:

- Set sexual limits. Stop or slow down before you get to your sexual limit. It is your body and no one has the right to force, harass, or coerce you into doing anything that you don't want to do.

- Trust your instincts. If you feel you are being forced into unwanted sex, you probably are.

- Decide before you are alone with someone what your sexual limits with the person are.

- Don't do anything that you don't want to do just to avoid disagreement, unpleasantness, or embarrassment.

- Practice being assertive: state what you want. Use a confident voice and body posture. Look directly at him or her and say "No" in a firm, serious voice. Match your body language to your words - don't laugh and smile while saying "No."

- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Your best defense is having a clear mind.

- Always have extra money to get home. Have a plan for someone you can call if you need help.

-  If you feel uncomfortable, scared, or pressured, act quickly to end the situation. Say, "Stop it" and leave or call for help.

Remember that you have the right to say "No" even if you:

o        Say yes, but change your mind

o        Have been kissing or "making out"

o        Have had sex with this partner before

o        Have been drinking alcohol

o        Are wearing provocative clothing

Remember: these tips can help reduce your risk of sexual assault, but they will never completely eliminate the risk. If you say "No" and still feel threatened, leave immediately or call for help.

If you are sexually assaulted, it's not your fault. Sexual assault is a crime, and nothing you do, or do not do, makes you responsible for the crime.

Look for "red flags"

The Sexual Assault Risk Reduction Curriculum emphasizes looking for "red flags" when you are in intimate situations.

Red flags are things that are said or done that may make you feel like the person you are with is not safe. Trusting your instincts can mean paying attention to these red flags.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

You should be especially alert if the person you are with:

- Ignores, interrupts, or makes fun of you

- Sits or stands too close to you or stares at you

- Has a reputation for being a "player"

- Drinks too much or uses drugs; tries to get you to use drugs or alcohol

- Tries to touch or kiss you or gets into your "personal space" when you barely know him or her

- Wants to be alone with you before getting to know you, or pressures you to be alone together

- Does what he or she wants without asking what you want

- Gets angry or sulks if he or she doesn't get what he or she wants

- Pressures you to have sex, or tries to make you feel guilty for saying "no."

Be aware of "date rape drugs" and how they are used

The Department of Health and Human Services' National Women's Health Center offers the following information about date rape drugs:

- There are at least three date rape drugs:

o        GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid). GHB has a few forms: a liquid with no odor or color, a white powder, and a pill

o        Rohypnol (flunitrazepam). Rohypnol is a pill and dissolves in liquid.

o        Ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride). Ketamine is a white powder.

- Date rape drugs are meant to leave the victim helpless to stop a sexual assault. Victims may be physically helpless, unable to refuse sex, and unable to remember what happened.

- The drugs often have no color, smell, or taste and are easily added to flavored drinks without the victim's knowledge

- Alcohol can worsen the drug's effects

- How can I protect myself from being a victim of a date rape drug?

o        Don't accept drinks from other people, except trusted friends.

o        Open containers yourself.

o        Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom.

o        Don't share drinks.

o        Don't drink from punch bowls or other large, common, open containers. They may already have drugs in them.

o        Don't drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Sometimes, GHB tastes salty.

o        Have a non-drinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens.

Remember that alcohol can also be used by offenders to incapacitate a potential victim. Alcohol is also relatively easy for an offender to obtain. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Sexual assault involves two or more people. To reduce your risk of being accused of sexual assault:

- Remember: sexual assault is a crime. You will be held responsible for your actions.

- Ensure that your partner consents to sexual activity. You must have consent from your partner before you can legally engage in sexual activity. If someone is passed out, unconscious, or asleep from alcohol, drugs, or fatigue, they are legally unable to give their consent.

- Ensure a potential partner is of legal age.ignorance is no excuse. The "age of consent", or the age at which someone can legally give consent for sexual activity, varies by state. It is as high as 18 years of age in some states.

- Communicate your expectations to a potential partner. Misunderstandings and lack of communication, especially between people who don't know each other very well, can lead to dangerous and career-threatening situations.

- Avoid using drugs or excessive alcohol. People under the influence of alcohol or drugs often have different memories of how an event occurs.

- Remember that No means No even if the other person:

o        Says yes, but changes his or her mind

o        Has been kissing you or "making out" with you

o        Has had sex with you before

o        Has been drinking alcohol

o        Wears provocative clothing.

If you're not sure how your partner feels about your actions, ask the question! Remember: No means No.