Flip the Script

 

Sexual Assault
Resistance
Education for
University
Women

Flip the Script type logo
Flip the Script type logo

Sexual Assault
Resistance
Education for
University
Women

 
 
 

WOMEN ARE
TOLD THAT

If we are sexually assaulted, we are at least partially to blame.

We hear things like:

"You shouldn't have gone out that night."
"You shouldn't have flirted with him."
"Is that what you were wearing?"
"How much did you have to drink?"

 

SEXUAL ASSAULT OCCURS
BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE
MADE THE DECISION TO BE
COERCIVE AND HURT US.

BUT THE
TRUTH IS

BUT THE
TRUTH IS

SEXUAL ASSAULT OCCURS
BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE
MADE THE DECISION TO BE
COERCIVE AND HURT US.

 

SO WE
BELIEVE

We are never responsible for whether someone else makes the decision to be coercive and try to assault us.

But if they try to be coercive, we have the right to resist and fight back.

No one has the right to touch us without consent. No one has the right to hurt us.

 


Flip the Script is a 12-hour sexual assault resistance education program for university-aged women. It is delivered in small groups of about 15-20 and is run over the course of 4 weeknights, or one weekend.

With Flip the Script we take the position that it is never a woman’s fault if someone tries to assault her – responsibility falls entirely on the person who chose to be sexually coercive. In an ideal world, we would know who these sexually coercive people are and just be able to avoid them. Unfortunately, we often don’t know who they are, and more times than not, the people who try to coerce or attack us are people we wouldn’t have expected – for example, our boyfriend, cousin, co-worker, or friend.

We know that many women will be exposed to at least one sexually coercive person in their lives, and we believe that if someone tries to coerce or hurt them, that women have the right to resist and fight back. Flip the Script helps develop our skill set for resisting sexual violence.

Flip the Script is based on the 12-hour sexual assault resistance education program known as the Enhanced Assess Act Acknowledge (EAAA) curriculum created by Dr. Charlene Senn at the University of Windsor. It has four sections, which are each three hours in length:

  • ASSESS – IDENTIFYING RISK CUES FOR SEXUAL VIOLENCE

    With Assess, we begin by examining risk factors for sexual violence and cues that we might read, from the environment or from someone else’s behaviour, that indicate increased risk. We will explore ways that we can be attuned to risk without compromising our sense of freedom.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE – I HAVE THE RIGHT TO KEEP MYSELF SAFE

    Acknowledge is about identifying the barriers that make it difficult for us to resist when someone is being coercive. While most of us feel we have the right to fight back if a stranger were to attack us, it can be a lot harder, on an emotional level, to fight back when the person who is being coercive is someone we know. This section of the program will help you identify and overcome these barriers while being mindful of your broader social and emotional goals.

  • ACT – DEFENDING YOUR RIGHT TO PERSONAL SAFETY

    Act will provide you with a range of verbal and physical strategies for keeping yourself safe if someone tries to hurt you. We will teach your strategies that are evidence-based and tailored to women’s experiences. Our goal is to give you as many options as possible for resisting, so you can choose the ones that feel right to you.

  • ENHANCE – YOUR RELATIONSHIPS AND SEXUALITY

    This section of the program is about examining our own personal desires and boundaries and empowering us to express them in our personal relationships. We know that when women have had the opportunity to contemplate their sexual preferences, they are in a better position to quickly recognize sexually coercive behaviour that doesn’t reflect their choices.

This program was designed for university-aged women, including trans women. If you are registered at the University, you can sign up.

Go to our online registration page. You can log in and choose your preferred workshop. If the workshop you would prefer is full, you can choose to be placed on our wait list.

In the Winter 2018 semester, we will be offering Flip the Script three times. Dates and times are as follows:

  • January 23 to February 13, Tuesday evenings 6:30 to 9:30 pm.
  • Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 5, 11 am to 5:30 pm each day.
  • Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25, 11am to 5:30 pm each day.

Growing up, girls are often taught to believe that they are responsible for preventing an assault. They are taught to fear stranger assault and to keep themselves safe by monitoring where they go, what they do, and what they wear. Girls are also taught that if they are assaulted, it’s probably their fault. At the same time, girls are also taught to believe they aren’t strong enough to fight back.

We know that all of this is wrong.

Girls and women are not to blame when someone else makes the decision to hurt and coerce them into sexual contact that they do not want. Further, it doesn’t matter where women go, what they do, or what they wear – this doesn’t protect them; it just restricts their freedom. And sadly, women are not taught that the men who are most likely to hurt them are men they know – this isn’t to say that every man they know wants to hurt them, just that the men who are most likely to aren’t strangers to them.

We know that women who fight back have a far greater chance of escaping an assault compared to women who don’t – and the more resistance strategies a woman uses, the more likely she is to escape.

We believe that the traditional stereotypes that girls and women are socialized to believe are harmful. We believe it is never your fault for being assaulted and that women have the right to resist. We also believe that women have the strength to resist. So we want to flip the script.

For information on the curriculum and its research, visit sarecentre.org.