Reduce your Risk of Committing Sexual Violence

These four steps can help you make choices.

  1. Educate yourself about consent and the law.
  2. Learn about sexual violence and harassment.
  3. Develop an understanding of the impact of trauma on victims.
  4. Ask yourself: what kind of person do I want to be?

...don't be that guy![See: Don't be that guy!]

If you worry that you are at risk of committing a crime and causing harm with sexual violence, you can reduce your risk. Sexual violence happens on a continuum and many people still do not understand all the different forms that are included. Sexual violence happens in hetero and same-sex relationships. Most sexual violence is committed by males in a society that has created the conditions where it is more likely to happen. Sometimes this is called the “rape culture”. Society may be slow to change, but you don’t have to wait to change your own attitudes and behaviours.

With the rare exception, people who commit acts of sexual violence are not monsters. They are fathers, brothers, sons, cousins and friends, who can learn to change behaviour and reduce their risk.

97% of reported assaults involve a male perpetrator

Stats Canada

Sexual violence and harassment are not just individual issues. Individuals are always responsible for their actions but culture and society does play a role. Risk increases in different combinations of individual, relational, community and societal factors.  

Understanding the levels of risk factors can help create different opportunities for prevention. Risk factors happen in combinations; any one may or may not be direct causes of sexual violence. Not everyone who is identified as “at risk” becomes a perpetrator of violence.

If you are at risk of committing a crime of sexual violence it’s important to know that you can change your behaviour.[National Center on the Sexual Behaviour of Youth]  Reach out and find support for yourself and make the changes you need to make to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.

The beliefs and attitudes of a rape culture are rooted in the idea that women are inferior to men and are therefore less deserving of respect and dignity.

Ontario’s Sexual Violence & Harassment Action Plan

Further Reading & Resources