Radcliffe, who is the sexual assault services director with Helpline of Delaware and Morrow Counties, is part of a work group formed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to address sexual assault. She says it’s not an easy task to get everyone on the same page about prevention.
“By the time people get to college, you don’t know what kind of information they’ve had about this issue,” Radcliffe said.
What she would like to see is an ongoing, committed partnership between colleges and universities and other agencies, like rape crisis centers and to have these partnerships cultivated throughout a student’s college career. Radcliffe says when it comes to prevention there’s more to it than what the public often hears.
“It’s not as easy as just watching your drink,” she said. “It’s not as easy as not walking alone at night.”
It’s also about knowing your surroundings, the people you’re with and even the truth about consent. In Ohio, Radcliffe says if someone is substantially impaired, perhaps by alcohol, by law they can’t give consent to have sex. Radcliffe says that, too, goes back to education and teaching students how to watch out for themselves and others.
“If we only go in with a one-size-fits-all to prevention…we’re missing it to begin with,” Radcliffe said.
Radcliffe says it’s also important for people to know where to turn if they believe they’ve been sexually assaulted. She says you can call the national rape crisis hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. The hotline will then connect you with a local rape crisis center. If you’re in Columbus, you can call the Franklin County hotline at 614-267-7020.