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Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence

Health & Counseling Center

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Gender Violence Prevention and Education

Red Zone

The first 6 weeks of the school year are commonly known as the "Red Zone," a high-risk time where new students may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors and are less likely to have protective factors like strong friend groups. Students are looking to form new relationships, adjust to perceived campus norms, and generally figure out their new life on campus. As a result, they may experiment with substances like alcohol or cannabis. Alcohol use increases the likelihood that a person may misread a situation and be more likely to perpetrate unwanted behavior, even sexual assault.

Increasing protective factors can help reduce the risk of perpetration and experiencing gender-based violence. Staying together if you go out, having a designated sober friend, and addressing concerning behavior (giving a person more drinks if they don't want them/if they are already drunk, separating someone from their group, or trying to get a person alone) can prevent harm from happening.

At DU, we intervene when we see something that looks concerning. We create the community we want to be a part of, one decision at a time. Want to learn more about how you can intervene in harmful or risky situations? Request a workshop here or read more on the active bystander page.