Awareness Tips

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Awareness Tips

While it is impossible to prevent any attack from happening there are always safety measures you can take to help you take an active role in increasing your safety or the safety of those you care about. There are strategies that may reduce your risk or give you the confidence to step in to prevent a sexual assault.

Making sure you get or have given consent.

Consent in Georgia requires a participant to know the essential facts of the sexual encounter. Determining if a fact is “essential” requires extensive legal knowledge. You could potentially face criminal charges for not clarifying these essential details. Consent can not be gained by intimidation, force, or by taking advantage of others' incapacitation.

Consent should be clearly and freely communicated. A verbal and affirmative expression of consent can help both you and your partner to understand and respect each other’s boundaries.

Consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, mentally handicapped, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or asleep or unconscious. If someone agrees to an activity under pressure of intimidation or threat, that isn’t considered consent because it was not given freely. Unequal power dynamics, such as engaging in sexual activity with an employee or student, also mean that consent cannot be freely given.

To learn more about consent visit

Need Help Now? Call our 24/7 Crisis Hotline.

Responding to Pressure

Perpetrators of sexual violence often use coercive tactics, such as guilt or intimidation, to pressure a person into something they do not want to do. It can be upsetting, frightening, or uncomfortable if you find yourself in this situation. The following tips may help you exit the situation safely.

  • Remind yourself this isn’t your fault. You did not do anything wrong. It is the person who is pressuring you who is responsible.
  • Don't feel obligated to do anything you don't want to do. It doesn’t matter why you don’t want to do something. Simply not being interested is reason enough. Do only what feels right to you and what you are comfortable with.
  • Develop a code with friends or family that means “I’m uncomfortable” or “I need help.” It could be a series of numbers you can text, like “311.” It might be a phrase you say out loud such as, “I wish we took more vacations.” This way you can communicate your concern and get help without alerting the person who is pressuring you.
  • It’s okay to lie if you feel the need. If you are concerned about angering or upsetting this person, you can lie or make an excuse to create an exit. It may feel wrong to lie, but you are never obligated to remain in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, scared, or threatened. 

Some excuses you could use are: needing to take care of a friend or family member, not feeling well, and having to be somewhere else by a certain time. Even excusing yourself to use the bathroom can create an opportunity to get away or to get help. Whatever you need to say to stay safe is okay, even if it may seem embarrassing at the time.

  • Plan an escape route. If you had to leave quickly, how would you do it? Locate the windows, doors, and any other means of exiting the situation. Do you see people around who might be able to help you? How can you get their attention? Where can you go when you leave? These are all key parts of creating a plan to exit an unsafe situation. Remember, it is most important to stay safe, always locate the safest path possible to exit.

If you have to find a way out of a situation where someone is pressuring you, or if something happens that you didn’t consent to, it is not your fault. Make sure you’re okay first, and know you’re not alone. Our 24/7 hotline is always available for resources and advocate help. 770.586.5423

Alcohol Safety

Like many other substances, alcohol can inhibit a person's physical and mental abilities. In the context of sexual assault alcohol is the #1 drug used to perpertrate sexual assault. This means that alcohol may make it easier for a perpetrator to commit a crime and can even prevent someone from remembering that the assault occurred.


  • Keep an eye on your friends. If you are going out in a group, plan to arrive together and leave together. If you decide to leave early, let your friends know when and who you’re leaving with and where you’re going. If you’re at a party, check in with them during the night to see how they’re doing. If something doesn’t look right, step in. Don’t be afraid to let a friend know if something is making you uncomfortable or if you are worried about their or your safety.
  • Sometimes plans change quickly. You might realize it’s not safe for you to drive home, or the group you arrived with might decide to go somewhere you don’t feel comfortable. Keep the number for a reliable taxi company saved in your phone and on a piece of paper in your wallet and try to have cash on hand. It is also a good idea to download a few different rideshare apps on your phone. Having multiple options helps ensure that you will be able to get a ride home or to a safe location, even if the app you typically use is not functioning. To help keep your phone charged so you can stay in communication with friends or call a ride, consider bringing an external cell phone charger that can be used without an electrical outlet.
  • Know what you’re drinking. Don’t recognize an ingredient? Use your phone to look it up or ask a bartender. Consider avoiding large-batch drinks like punches that may have a deceptively high alcohol content. There is no way to know exactly what was used to create these drinks.
  • If you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or worried for any reason, don’t ignore these feelings. Go with your gut. Get somewhere safe and find someone you trust, or call law enforcement. Never feel as if you’re overreacting if you feel your safety is in danger.
  • Don’t leave a drink unattended. That includes when you use the bathroom, go dancing, or leave to make a phone call. Either take the drink with you or throw it out. If you’ve thrown out a drink, or a drink has been left alone, avoid using the same cup to refill your drink.
  • Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust. This can be challenging in some settings, like a party or a date. If you choose to accept a drink from someone you’ve just met, try to go with the person to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself.
  • You might have heard the expression “know your limits.” Whether you drink regularly or not, check in with yourself periodically to register how you feel. If you think you have had too much, ask a trusted friend to help you get water or get home safely. Remember, if someone offers you a drink, you can always say no.
  • Be aware of sudden changes in the way your body feels. Do you feel more intoxicated than you are comfortable with? Some drugs are odorless, colorless and/or tasteless, and can be added to your drink without you noticing. If you feel uncomfortable, tell a friend and have them take you to a safe place. If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, call 911, and tell the healthcare professionals that you suspect you or a friend have been drugged so they can administer the right tests. Even if you have consumed drugs or substances of your own free will calling the paramedics is safer than trusting a stranger or someone you may not feel comfortable with. 


Even if you were consuming alcohol when a sexual assault occurred, remember it was not your fault. You are not alone.

Need Help Now? Call our 24/7 Crisis Hotline.