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Straight Talk: The conversations that help prevent sexual assault

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: Parties come with tremendous pressure to drink — followed by more pressure to hook up and have sex. But many don't realize that taking advantage of an intoxicated person is sexual assault. Instead of blaming the assailant, however, girls usually blame themselves — and fear their parents will do the same.

With nowhere to turn, survivors can end up more traumatized as time passes.

New conversations are desperately needed. For daughters, I beg parents to avoid statements like, "don't drink or you'll get raped" or, "don't drink, something bad will happen." This just sets the stage for self-blame. Instead, repeatedly tell your daughter how special she is, how her body and sexuality always deserve respect, and how incredible sex is when people are mature — with not a drop of alcohol needed!

Tell her she deserves that! And that if anyone takes advantage of her when she is unable to give consent, she is not to blame and you are there for her ALWAYS!

— Mike Domitrz, founder Date Safe Project, datesafeproject.org P.S.: While this letter focuses on girls, males are also are sexually assaulted.


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