Sexual assault is a major issue that is spreading like a disease in our community. Everyday there are more and more women and children become victims of sexual assault. Although, there is nothing we can do that could stop sexual assault entirely but there are some steps we can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault.
Safeties on the Streets – When walking down the street look confident. Keep your eyes in front of you and be aware of your surroundings. Be familiar with the neighborhood and know where you are going. Ask a friend or family member for a ride if you don’t feel comfortable walking home at night.
- Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
- Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
- Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more vulnerable.
- Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that you have cab money.
-Don't allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.
-Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
Sexual Decisions – If you are not ready to have sex than say “no”. You do not have to feel as if you owe someone sex because you went on a date with them. Keep a clear mind when considering if you want to have sex-don’t mix drugs or alcohol with sexual decisions.
Trust Yourself – If you are at a party or on a date and start feeling uncomfortable trust your gut and get out of the situation.
Dating – If you are going out with someone new or someone you met on an internet dating site have a group date or meet them in a public place.
Watch your Beverages – When you are out keep an eye on your drink. An unattended drink or accepting a drink from a stranger could be dangerous. Many rapes occur with the help of drugs being slipped into a victim’s drink and most of these drugs you cannot taste or smell. When you go to the bathroom or on the dance floor keep your drink with you. Be careful drinking from a punch bowl at a party.
Awareness – Most times a survivor knows their perpetrator. If someone you know (family member, friend, acquaintance, co-worker) makes you feel uncomfortable tell them or tell someone or don’t spend time with them. Perpetrators may start with sexualized comments, getting into your physical space all the time, offering to do things for you or buy things for you before any violence begins. Trust your gut!