Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention is a group at the University of Georgia focusing on raising awareness around the Athens campus. National sexual assault awareness month is specifically during the month of April but this group has emphasized the importance of talking about this issue everyday of the year. RSVP President, Madison Turner, wants to make sure people know it is never the victim’s fault.
The most important word for people to understand is the word consent. Consent is defined as voluntary, positive agreement between the participants to engage in sexual activity that must be communicated clearly. Consent cannot be assumed in any way and while verbal consent is not an absolute requirement, communicating verbally before the sexual encounter is imperative. Communicating your own and your partner’s sexual desires, needs, and limitations provide a basis for a positive experience. If you are comfortable talking about the experience then it is a good sign that the relationship is healthy.
It is very important for victims of sexual assault to feel comfortable reaching out for help and this is one of the goals for RSVP at UGA. This group uses counseling and support as methods for victims. Talking about the incident and understanding they are not at fault are two important parts of counseling.