Universities across the country are incorporating "bystander intervention" programs to combat sexual assaults happening at college bars and parties.
The programs teach students how to identify a potential sexual predator and then safely intervene before they hone in on one of their fellow classmates.
And, according to researchers, it can be the answer to reducing the amount of sexual assaults happening on college campuses — much more than putting limits on how much students can drink.
Based on a new study, the odds of a college male becoming a sexual threat to his female classmates isn't necessarily due to him binge drinking. Rather, it's more likely due to him being in "drinking settings."
In other words, college students who enjoy going out to bars or partying may be more inclined to seek out sexual experiences than individuals who are happy to stay in and relax on the couch.
""People drawn to these settings may be at higher risk" of becoming a sexual predator, says lead researcher Maria Testa, PhD, at the Research Institute on Addictions at the University at Buffalo.
In the study, about 18 percent of college men in the US copped to sexually assaulting a woman at some point during the first six semesters of college.
These instances included forced intercourse, 'attempted' intercourse and unwanted contact.
Additionally, the more a college male attended parties or events with heavy drinking involved, the more likely it was that he'd commit sexual assault.
Since most of the students in the test were under 21, the researchers suggested that, in order to reduce the number of college sexual assaults, universities and college towns alike should implement greater law enforcement at bars and clubs.
But at college parties, the researchers warn, that's where students really need to help each other out.
If more colleges have these "bystander intervention" programs, in which they teach students when and how to get involved when they see a student aggressively hitting on another student, then perhaps less assaults will go down at parties, frat houses and unsupervised, booze-filled gatherings.
Yep, the old rule of "If you see something, say something" always applies.
By educating yourself on what aggressive, predator-like behavior looks like, yore u're likely to be able to step in and stop a sexual assault before it happens to one of your friends or even a stranger.