Tough Questions, No Easy Answers
It can't happen to me, or could it? Who would believe me? What
did I do to turn that nice guy into a sex maniac? Could it have
been my fault? Was I too spaced out? It couldn't happen to me...or
could it? Most of us don't want to even think about rape. We say
to ourselves, "It's not going to happen to me." However,
it can happen - at home, at school, at a party anywhere. A
rapist can attack anyone, anytime, anywhere. No one is immune from
rape or its shattering aftereffects. Don't try to protect yourself
with half-truths and myths. In addition, please don't pass them
on to your friends. Get the facts! Talk about them! Awareness is
the first step.
The Facts of Life
Myth: Rape is a crime of passion.
Fact: Rape is an act of violence, not passion.
It is an attempt to hurt and humiliate, using sex as the weapon.
Myth: Rape only happens to women who ask for
Fact: No one asks to be a victim of sexual violence.
It can happen to anyone children, grandmothers, students,
working women, mothers, wives, the rich and poor. Rapists tend
to prey on women who look vulnerable, appear to be easily intimidated,
or seem to be daydreaming.
Myth: Most rapes occur as a "spur of the
moment" act in a dark alley by a stranger.
Fact: Rape often occurs in one's home be
it apartment, house or dormitory. Very often, the victim in some
way knows the rapist and the rape is carefully planned.
Myth: Most rapists only rape one time.
Fact: Most rapists rape again and again and again
- until caught.
What You Can Do
There is no perfect way to protect yourself, but there are simple
things you can do to minimize your risk. Just take a minute to think
about what you do... And remember-
- Show that you're in control walk with confidence.
- Be aware of your surroundings who's out there and what's
- Don't let alcohol or other drugs fog your judgment.
- Be assertive don't let anyone violate your space.
Trust Your Instincts!
- Uneasy? Uncomfortable? Get out!
- Don't be embarrassed to make a scene. YOU know what's best for
Make It a Habit...
- Don't prop open self-locking doors! It may be a hassle, but
the security worth it.
- Lock your door (and your windows), even if you leave for a few
minutes. Don't' leave an open invitation.
- Watch your keys. Don't lend them. Don't leave them. Don't lose
them. Moreover, don't put your name and address on your key ring.
- Watch out for unwanted visitors know who's on the other
side of the door before you open it.
- Uninvited guests? Demand they leave, or you leave quickly.
- Watch those isolated areas laundromats, library stacks,
labs, locker rooms, computer centers especially at night. Go with
a friend or use the campus escort service.
- Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your
route; stay in well-traveled, well-lighted areas.
- Have your key ready before you reach the door - home, car, work,
- Park in well-lighted areas and lock the car, even if you'll
only be gone a few minutes.
- Drive on well-traveled streets doors and windows locked.
- The best advice on hitchhiking? Don't! It's very risky business.
Never pick anyone up, no matter how nice they seem or look.
- Keep your car in good shape with plenty of gas in the tank.
- In case of car trouble Hood up, doors locked, "Help,
call police" banner in rear window.
What If Someone Tries?
Use your head to protect your body. Calm down play for time.
Every situation is different there are no easy answers.
- Know yourself and your capabilities.
- Assess the circumstances look for an out.
- Try to read the rapist motivation, personality, what might
work to get away.
And remember, once you use violence, there is no place to go but
After The Assault
- Be a good witness remember every detail you can.
- Do not shower, bathe, douche, or throw away any clothing.
- Call the police and a friend or the rape crisis center if you
need additional support.
- Seek medical attention and counseling.
- Remember that it's not your fault.
From Victim to Survivor
Rape is a traumatic experience. The pain may go away, but the mental
anguish may linger on; Anger, Helplessness, Fear, Shame.
If someone you know has been raped, encourage her to talk and to
The rape victim needs, Support, Love, and Comfort from
friends and family to work through the crisis and emerge a survivor.
Return to Crime Prevention Tips
Crime Prevention Tips Provided by:
National Crime Prevention Council