What is The Red Zone?

The Red Zone is the time period between move-in and Thanksgiving break when college students across the country are statistically most susceptible to sexual assault. More than 50 percent of college sexual assaults occur in August, September, October and November. Freshmen, especially females, are particularly vulnerable during this time as they navigate an unfamiliar campus, parties and the college social scene for the first time.

Red Zone Toolkit

Download the Red Zone toolkit, including digital and printable signage, to help raise awareness and spread resources across campus.

Toolkit Download

Red Zone FAQ

What is consent?

Consent means you have checked in with your partner and you have a clear, voluntary and ongoing agreement to engage in a specific sexual act. Consent can be shown in a variety of ways including a verbal "yes," someone pulling you closer, head nodding and eye contact. Individuals who are incapacitated or unconscious cannot consent. If you aren’t sure you’ve received consent, the best thing to do is ask your partner before engaging in any intimate or sexual act. Consent can be revoked at any time and prior consent to a specific act does not equal present consent to that act. Consent is needed with every sexual act, every time, even with a long-term partner like a boyfriend/girlfriend or a spouse.

How does alcohol affect the Red Zone?

Almost half of all sexual assaults involve alcohol use by the perpetrator and/or the victim. It is common for a person who commits sexual assault to push someone to drink to incapacitation or target a person who is already incapacitated. Someone who is incapacitated is less likely to be able to resist unwanted sexual acts. A person who is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol is incapable of giving consent.

Even though there is a relationship between alcohol and sexual assault, sexual assault is never the fault of the survivor. Sexual violence is always the fault of the person who chooses to interact with someone’s body without consent, regardless of whether that person was using drugs or alcohol, what they were wearing or how they were dancing or otherwise behaving.

What proactive steps can I take to reduce my own risk?

There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself:

Don’t leave your drink unattended, not even for a moment.
If your drink has unusual taste or appearance (like a salty taste or an unexplained residue), throw it out. Drinks with lids or sports tops are a good choice.

Use the buddy system.
You and your buddy can agree that if either of you appears intoxicated, gets sick, passes out, is having trouble walking or breathing, the other buddy will make sure they get home safe. Call 911 in case of emergency.

Plan your trip.
Know how you are going to get to and from your destination. Are you going to designate a trustworthy and sober driver? Are you planning on using CARPOOL (the free, nonjudgmental, sober ride home)? Familiarize yourself with the area and your way of getting there.

Avoid excessive use of drugs or alcohol.

Research mobile apps that let you signal for help if you feel unsafe.

What is victim blaming?

Unfortunately, victim blaming is common when sexual assault is discussed. A victim can be blamed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, wearing provocative clothes or drinking too much. Interacting with someone’s body in a sexual way without their consent is a choice made by the perpetrator – not the survivor. Sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault.

What can I do to help reduce the numbers of Aggies affected by sexual assault, both during the Red Zone and at any time of year?

It is up to us – students, faculty, staff, and the rest of the Aggie community – to Step In as active participants to reduce the sexual violence on our campus, and to Stand Up by starting courageous conversations and sharing information. You can:

Educate yourself
Knowledge is power. There are several campus presentations and resources available to assist students, faculty, and staff. You can learn how to interrupt or intervene in an incidence of sexual violence. You can also learn how to recognize choices, behaviors, words, actions, or attitudes that contribute to unhealthy, harassing or violent environments. Register for on-campus training or request a presentation.

Know How And Where To Report Incidents
Reporting an incident is one facet of addressing the issues of sexual harassment and sexual violence in our community. Find out about how to report an incident.

Know About The Resources And People Who Are Available To Help
The university and surrounding community provide a vast array of resources for individuals who have been impacted by these behaviors. Learn the resources that are available and trauma-informed practices on how to best support a friend or colleague who has been involved in an incident of sexual harassment or sexual violence. Read more about resources.