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Sexual Violence

Sexual violence includes any unwanted sexual act that is attempted or committed without a person’s consent. Sexual assault can be committed by a partner, date, spouse, classmate, instructor, friend, acquaintance, family member, stranger, etc. Sexual assault is never the fault of the person being assaulted; however, all participants are urged to follow the guidelines below to help reduce the risk of sexual assault as well as ensure their general safety while traveling abroad:
  • Before departing, read about the cultural norms, expectations, social customs and practices – especially those related to dating and romantic customs – of the host country. Understanding these norms does NOT mean you should accept unwanted sexual contact. Instead is it meant to educate yourself about gender relations, verbal or body language and social cues around dating, which may be considerably different from the United States. 
  • Understanding cultural norms helps to understand unfamiliar behavior and also to be aware of people who are not respecting your boundaries. 
  • Regardless of the country, culture norms or context, it is ALWAYS ok to say no to unwanted advances. 
  • NEVER walk home alone at night and NEVER allow any of your classmates to do so. This applies to both men and women and is crucial to reduce risk for a wide variety of threats – pickpocketing, physical assault, kidnapping, accidents, etc. – and not just sexual assault.
  • Drink responsibly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you choose to drink, designate someone in your group to be a designated non-drinker. Have a cell phone on you at all times, keep it charged, and keep important phone numbers saved in your phone.
  • Watch your drink at all times, and do not accept drinks from strangers. It is possible for someone to slip something into your drink.
  • If you notice a concerning interaction or sense a friend is being coerced or in danger, intervene. Introduce yourself, make yourself present, and offer a way out of the situation. Remember that people can’t give consent if they are drunk or incapacitated.
  • Never accompany a stranger anywhere, and be wary of strangers who claim they are in need of help.
  • Trust your gut.

If you or a friend experience any kind of sexual misconduct while studying abroad, you are encouraged to file a report. You may file a report online, or you can file a report with Loyno’s Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students, Dr. Diana Ward, by calling 504-864-7151 or e-mailing If you’d just like to speak with a counselor but are not sure if you’d like to file a report, you may talk to a confidential counselor by calling 504-865-3835 (press 1 at the voicemail) – licensed counselors are available to speak with you for free at this number twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year; you may use this service an unlimited number of times for free. To read more about sexual misconduct, Title IX, reporting options, and resources/supports, please visit Loyno’s Title IX website.

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Revised 8/14/2018