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Sexual Assault Prevention
Rape is About Power, Control, and Anger
Think about the unthinkable. Don't mask the facts about rape with myths and
The Truth Is...
Rape is an act of violence. It is an attempt to control and degrade using
sex as a weapon.
Rape can happen to anyone-children, students, wives, mothers, working
women, grandmothers, the rich and poor, and boys and men.
Rapists can be anyone-classmates, co-workers, a neighbor or delivery
person, ugly or attractive, outgoing or shy, often a friend or family
Rapists rape again and again, until caught.
Use Your Head
* Be alert! Walk with confidence and purpose.
Common Sense Indoors
* Be aware of your surrounding-know who's out there and what's going on.
* Don't let alcohol or other drugs cloud your judgment.
* Trust your instincts. If a situation or place makes you feel
uncomfortable or uneasy, leave!
* Make sure all doors (don't forget sliding glass doors) and windows
have dead bolt locks, and use them! Install a peephole in the door.
Keep entrances well-lighted.
Common Sense Outdoors
* Never open your door to strangers. Offer to make an emergency call
while someone waits outside. Check the identification of any sales or
service people before letting them in. Don't be embarrassed to phone
* Be wary of isolated spots-apartment laundry rooms, underground
garages, parking lots, offices after business hours. Walk with a
friend, co-worker, or security guard, particularly at night.
* Know your neighbors so you have someone to call or go to if you're
* If you come home and see a door or window open, or broken, don't go
in. Call the police from a public phone or neighbor's home.
* Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Stay in
well-traveled, well-lighted areas.
When the Unthinkable Happens
* Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom of movement.
* Be careful if anyone in a car asks you for directions-if you answer,
keep your distance from the car.
* Have your key ready before you reach the door-home, car, or office.
* If you think you're being followed, change direction and head for open
stores, restaurants, theaters, or lighted house.
* Park in areas that will be well-lighted and well-traveled when you
* Always lock your car-when you get in and when you get out.
* Look around your car and in the back seat before you get in.
* If your car breaks down, lift the hood, lock the doors, and turn off
flashers. Use a Call Police banner or flares. If someone stops, roll
the window down slightly and ask the person to call the police or a
* Don't hitchhike, ever. Don't pick up a hitchhiker.
How should you handle a rape attempt? It depends on your physical and
emotional state, the situation, the rapist's personality. There are no hard
and fast, right or wrong answers, surviving is the goal.
* Try to escape. Scream. Be rude. Make noise to discourage your attacker
* Talk, stall for time, and assess your options.
* If the rapist has a weapon, you may have no choice but to submit. Do
whatever it takes to survive.
* If you decide to fight back, you must be quick and effective. Target
the eyes or groin.
* Report rape or any sexual assault to the police or rape crisis center.
The sooner you tell, the greater the chances the rapist will be
If Someone You Know Has Been Raped
* Preserve all physical evidence. Don't shower, bathe, change clothes,
douche, or throw any clothing away until the police or rape counselor
say it's okay.
* Go to a hospital emergency room or your own doctor for medical care
* Don't go alone. Ask a friend or family member to go with you or call a
rape crisis center or school counselor.
* Get counseling to help deal with feelings of anger, helplessness,
fear, and shame caused by rape. It helps to talk to someone about the
rape, whether it happened last night, last week, or years ago.
* Remember, rape is not your fault. Do not accept blame for being an
* Believe her or him.
Take A Stand
* Don't blame the victim.
* Offer support, patience, and compassion to help the rape victim work
through the crisis, heal, and emerge a survivor.
Ask a Neighborhood Watch group, school, employer, church, library, or civic
group to organize a workshop on preventing rape. Make sure it addresses
concerns of both men and women.
Volunteer at a rape crisis center.
If you see a TV program or movie that reinforces sexual stereotypes and
sends the message that women really like to be raped, protest. Write to the
station, the studio, or the sponsors. On the other side, publicly commend
the media when they do a great job in depicting the realities of rape.
Information provided by the Consumer Information Center.