SHARE Suggestions for Keeping Parties Safer

Content warning: these suggestions contain reference to intoxication and sexual assault. 

People of all genders and orientations can perpetrate harm, and can be sexually assaulted. Although stranger rape does happen, more than 75% of sexual assaults are done by people who know the person they’re harming, or are an acquaintance in their social circle. They take advantage of trust and vulnerability to get access to potential victims. 

No one is responsible for the harm someone else does to them or to anyone else. And we can’t completely prevent sexual assault. But we can make it harder for a rapist to set up the conditions they rely on: intoxication, isolation, and lack of intervention by others. 

We keep us safe. 

When you throw a party, you’re giving people space to have a good time—which means making sure they aren’t in danger from over intoxication or people who want to harm them. Provide lots of water and other non-alcoholic drinks so that thirsty people have alternatives; food will slow down the absorption of alcohol. Have sober people at the keg or area where drinks are located to keep an eye on who’s getting lots of drinks, and at the door to make sure people leave in the company of friends (and aren’t driving while intoxicated). If you go out in a group, check in to make sure everyone gets home safely. SHARE staff can help you think through ways to make your event a fun one for everyone, so please reach out!

Dump your drink. 

Make a habit of getting yourself a new drink every time it’s out of your sight for even a few seconds; remind your friends, and offer to go with them to get a new one. 

Don’t take it personally when someone turns you down. 

Whether it’s free booze and drugs, a ride home, or a good time, no one is obliged to accept what you offer; respect their decision and move on. 

Men have to take on more of the work of preventing sexual assault. 

People of any gender can rape and be assaulted, but statistically, the majority of sexual assaults are committed by men. Therefore, men need to take a more prominent role in preventing sexual assault. Rapists rely on other men to be quiet while they target vulnerable people. Talk to your friends; let them know that you won’t let them give alcohol and drugs to potential hookups, and that you won’t let them take intoxicated people home. Believe women when they talk about sketchy, creepy behavior. 

Do your own work. 

If you’re called out for boundary violations, it’s natural to be defensive—but you’re being given an opportunity to reflect on how your behavior affects others, and make changes so that you don’t harm them. 

If someone is over intoxicated, they need help. 

You don’t know how much of what they’ve had, and high people can’t be relied on to tell you. Help them sit down, get them water if they can drink it safely, and stay with them until you’re sure they’re okay. If they’re losing consciousness, or if you can’t stay with them, get help. On campus, call the Community Safety Officers or call for emergency medical services. Don’t worry about “getting in trouble”. Reed’s generous amnesty policy means that the worst that will happen is probably a conversation with an Area Coordinator or dean. The college won’t call parents or cops unless the situation is life-threatening. 

In the case of a suspected drugging, medical attention should be provided immediately. Friends should call emergency medical services, or take the person to the emergency room. 

Nota bene

Occasionally articles about tests and devices (lipsticks, straws, cups, napkins, coasters, etc.) purporting to detect “date rape drugs” fly around social media. There are no reliable “date rape drug detection” kits or devices. And alcohol continues to be the substance used most frequently to incapacitate someone to sexually assault them. 

Getting help when someone may have been sexually assaulted

Confidential SHARE advocates (and SHARE’s program manager, Rowan Frost) work with people who have been harmed to provide emotional support and help people understand their options. We work with allies to provide emotional support so they can best support survivors, and develop strategies to help hold accountable people who have harmed. 

We are certified confidential by the state of Oregon; we legally cannot share information from people seeking our services unless we are given specific written permission to do so (exception: if a person currently under 18 has been sexually or physically assaulted, SHARE advocates, like all school employees, must report to Child Protective Services). SHARE staff NEVER report to other college officials, but will help survivors do so if asked by the survivor.

Contact SHARE via email at and visit for more information and resources.

The other confidential resource on campus is the Health and Counseling Center. Off campus, Call to Safety is our local rape and domestic violence crisis line: 503-235-5333. 

The Options & Resources handbook has extensive information on resources and college processes (contact SHARE for a printed copy). 


Other ways to support survivors 

  • Survivors need control of their story; respect their privacy and unless they ask you to, don’t share info.

  • Don’t assume you know what they need; ask survivors what support they want,

  • Don’t blame victims or insist that survivors have to warn others. No one is responsible for the harm that someone else does to them or to anyone else. 

  • Join the Restorative Justice Coalition and get training so that they have the capacity to address community issues. 

  • Help create a Reed culture where everyone who gives alcohol to an underaged person or drugs to anyone takes responsibility for making sure that person is okay and gets home safely 

  • Talk to your senators about updating Alcohol and Other Drugs policy to include off-campus incidents (policies are written and approved by students and faculty).

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