Sexual Assault / Rape Awareness & Prevention
Rape is a violent crime, an invasion and a frightening experience. All women are potential victims of sexual assaults regardless of their age or race. You may be able to reduce the risk of a sexual assault by adhering to the following suggestions:
- Realize that you are a potential rape victim. Many women believe the illusion "It will never happen to me."
- Know of locations and situations where rape is more likely to occur and avoid them. If you cannot avoid them try to be particularly alert, or take someone else with you. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- When you are out don't leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container or stranger, or someone you don't trust.
- When you go out to a party with a group of friends, arrive together, watch out for each other, and most important, leave together.
- Don't allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don't know or trust. If you are alone with someone, think about the level of intimacy you want in a relationship and clearly state your limits.
A rape can also occur in a dating or friendship situation. In fact, the majority of rapes (70% or more) that occur are termed "acquaintance rapes," meaning the rapist and the victim know one another. To help reduce your risk of a sexual assault from someone you know, keep the following suggestions in mind:
- If you become uncomfortable in a situation, assertively ask the person to leave. Don't worry about being embarrassed or hurting their feelings, it's better than being sexually assaulted.
- When you leave home or go on a date, let someone know who you are with and where you will be. Leave an address and phone number if possible.
- When you choose to drink, be aware that alcohol can impair your ability to protect yourself. If you are on a date, remember alcohol can damage your dates judgment and control.
By being aware, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming a rape victim, but this does not mean that all rapes can be prevented. Even if you are cautious, you may still become a victim of rape, whatever you do to survive is the right thing to do