These tips are designed to increase your odds against sexual assault. The more you know about rape prevention, the better your chances are of never becoming a victim.
- Know the facts about rape. Become aware of locations and situations where rape might occur and avoid them, if possible.
- Consider your alternatives if confronted by a rapist. Practice possible responses so that you can recall them even under the stress of a real encounter.
Safety at Home
Many rapes occur in or near the victim's home. One of the best ways to prevent sexual assault is to practice good home security.
- Install effective locks on all doors and windows - and USE them.
- Install a peephole viewer in your door, NEVER open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Require salespeople or repair people to show identification.
- If you live alone, use only your last name and initials on mailboxes and in telephone directories.
- If strangers telephone or come to your door, don't admit that you are alone.
- Don't let any strangers into your home - no matter what the reason or how dire the emergency is supposed to be. Offer to make an emergency phone call while they wait outside.
- If you live in an apartment avoid being in the laundry room or garage by yourself, especially at night.
- f you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry - don't go in! Go to the nearest phone and call the police or sheriff.
Don't Walk Into Danger
Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you-especially if you are alone or it is dark. Know where help may be if you should need it.
- Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
- Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
- Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace on the side of the street facing traffic. A rapist looks for someone who appears vulnerable.
- Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where rapists can hide.
- If you think you are being followed, walk quickly to areas where there are lights and people. If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk in the opposite direction, or walk on the other side of the street.
- If you are in danger, scream and run, or yell "fire."
- Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank at least half full.
- Always lock car doors after entering or leaving your car.
- Park in well-lighted areas.
- Have your car keys in your hand and check the back seat area before entering your car.
- If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place or to a police or sheriff's station.
- If your car breaks down, turn on your flashers, open the hood, attach a white cloth to the car antenna, and wait inside your car with the doors locked. If someone stops to help, stay in your car and ask them to call the police a garage or a tow service for you.
Carrying weapons for self-defence is controversial and sometimes illegal. Be safe--for more information, contact your local law enforcement agency.
If you are attacked...Remember, your main concern must always be your safety. No one can tell you whether you should fight back, submit, or resist. It depends on you and the situation.
Keep assessing the situation as it is happening. If one strategy doesn't work, try another. Possible options are: negotiating, stalling for time, distracting the assailant and fleeing to a safe place, verbal assertiveness, screaming to attract attention, or physical resistance. You best defense, however, is to be prepared--know your options ahead of time. Your safety may depend upon your ability to stay cool and calm.