Self Help

Sexual Assault/Dating Violence Prevention

Violence in any form is never okay and is not tolerated at USF St. Petersburg. We promote healthy relationships and open communication as a way to prevent dating and sexual violence from occurring on- and off-campus. We also promote bystander interventions because the whole community is responsible for preventing violence from happening. Learn how to report a crime at USF St. Petersburg.


Changing the culture around sexual assault by showing incoming students how to contribute to a positive, productive, and safe campus community. There is no higher priority for colleges and universities than to provide safe and healthy learning environments for everyone on campus. The Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates (SAPU) mandatory online course covers:

  • Importance of values
  • Aspects of (un)healthy relationships
  • Gender socialization
  • Sexual assault
  • Consent
  • Bystander intervention
  • On-going activism

For deadlines and requirements for SAPU, please click here to read more

Dating/Domestic Violence

  • The Florida Statute defining dating/domestic violence can be seen here.

Understanding Power and Control

  • The Power and Control Wheel was developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, MN. The wheel serves as a diagram of tactics that an abusive partner uses to keep their victims in a relationship. The inside of the wheel is made up of subtle, continual behaviors over time, while the outer ring represents physical and sexual violence. Abusive actions like those depicted in the outer ring often reinforce the regular use of other, more subtle methods found in the inner ring.
  • In the diagram, the Power and Control Wheel assumes she/her pronouns for the victim and he/him pronouns for the perpetrator, but the abusive behavior that it details can happen to people of any gender or sexuality.
  • The Equality Wheel offers an alternative to power and control. The Equality Wheel describes the qualities involved in healthy relationships and can be used to identify concerning, unhealthy behaviors. The Equality Wheel shows the changes needed for individuals to ensure equity in a healthy, non-violent partnership.

Equality and Power and Control Wheels

  • Healthy Relationships
  • Safety planning
    • Remember that you always have options: our advocates are available to discuss your situation and help create a personalized safety plan that’s right for you.
  • For more information and statistics on dating abuse, click here.
  • For more information on digital abuse, click here.

Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

If you are in an intimate relationship with someone, is it the healthy situation that you deserve? Answer yes or no to any of the responses below that apply to this relationship.

Note: It is important to remember that sometimes there are no signs that an intimate partner may become abusive.

Does my partner…

  • Get extremely jealous or possessive?
  • Accuse me of flirting or cheating?
  • Constantly check up on me via calls or texts or make me check in?
  • Tell me how to dress or how much makeup to wear?
  • Try to control what I do and whom I see?
  • Try to keep me from seeing or talking to my family and friends?
  • Have big mood swings—getting angry and yelling at me one minute, and being sweet and apologetic the next?
  • Make me feel nervous, or like I’m walking on eggshells?
  • Put me down or criticize me or post things online to embarrass or humiliate me?
  • Force me to send nude or otherwise “inappropriate” photos of myself?
  • Make me feel that I can’t do anything right?
  • Make me feel that no one else would want me?
  • Threaten to hurt me?
  • Threaten to hurt my friends or family?
  • Threaten to commit suicide?
  • Threaten to hurt him – or herself – because of me?
  • Threaten to hurt my pet(s)?
  • Threaten to destroy my things?
  • Hurt me physically? (includes yelling, grabbing, pushing, shoving, shaking,
    punching, slapping, holding me down, etc.)
  • Break or throw things when we argue?
  • Pressure or force me into having sex or going further sexually than I want to?

If you answered yes any of these responses, you may be in an abusive relationship. For more information, please contact a campus counselor or victim advocate at the USF St. Petersburg Wellness Center.

Adapted from the Love Is Not Abuse Curriculum.

Sexual Violence

  • The Florida Statute defining sexual violence/battery can be seen here.

Reduce the Risk of Committing Sexual Assault

  • Listen carefully. Take time to hear what the other person has to say. If you feel they are not being direct or are giving you a “mixed message” ask for clarification. Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.
  • Don’t fall for the cliché “if they say no, they really mean yes.” If your partner says “no” to sexual contact, believe them and stop. If they seem uncomfortable or uncertain, stop and check in. It is never acceptable to force sexual activity, or to pressure, coerce, or manipulate someone into having sex, no matter the circumstances.
  • Get involved if you believe that someone is at risk. If you see someone in trouble or someone pressuring another person, don’t be afraid to intervene - or get help to do so.
  • Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your size or level of involvement on campus. Don’t abuse that power.
  • Don’t make assumptions about a person’s behavior. Don’t assume that someone wants to have sex because of they way they are dressed, they drink (or drink too much), or agree to go to your room. Don’t assume that if someone has had sex with you before they are willing to do so again. Also don’t assume that if your partner consents to kissing or other sexual activities, they are consenting to all sexual activities. Obtain clear consent for each sexual activity.
  • Be aware that having sex with someone who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent is rape. If you have sex with someone who is incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs, passed out, or is otherwise incapable of saying no or knowing what is going on around them, you may be guilty of rape.
  • Be careful in group situations; resist pressure from friends to participate in acts you are not comfortable with.

Sexual Assault Victim Exam (SAVE) Information

  • Forensic medical exams, including testing for sexually transmitted diseases and follow-up medical treatments, evaluations and referrals are provided to adults and adolescent victims of sexual assault at no charge to the victim.
  • SAVE is provided to sexual assault victims over the age of 17 who reside in or were assaulted in Pinellas County.


  • The Florida Statute defining stalking can be seen here.
  • Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Unlike other crimes that involve a single incident, stalking is a pattern of behavior. It is often made up of individual acts that could, by themselves, seem harmless or noncriminal, but when taken in the context of a stalking situation, could constitute criminal acts. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time. 
  • Safety planning
  • Assessments
    • If you are experiencing stalking, we encourage you to work with a victim advocate to complete this assessment and to develop safety strategies.