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Sexual Assault & Date Rape

SAFETY TIPS:

  • Be alert. Walk with confidence and purpose.

  • Walk in well-lit areas and never walk alone. Ask a classmate or friend to escort you.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Know who's around you and what's going on.

  • Don't let alcohol or drugs cloud your judgment.

  • Trust your gut. If your instincts tell you to leave, then leave immediately. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, remove yourself from a situation.

  • If you think you're being followed, change directions and look for open stores, restaurants, or a lighted home.

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

  • Make sure all entrances (windows, sliding glass doors, patio doors) are locked at all times with sturdy locks.

  • Be aware of your environment in all situations. Always use precautions whether on campus, in the borough, in your hometown, or on vacation. Do not invite anyone into your room who is intoxicated, or who you don't know well.

  • Never open your door to strangers. Use a wide-angle viewer and make them show identification.

  • Be wary of isolated spots, such as basements, laundry rooms, and parking lots.

  • Know your neighbors so that you can call on him or her if you need help.

  • If you come home and see a door ajar or a window broken, call the police immediately. Do not enter the building.

  • Jog, run, or walk with a friend and stay in well-lit, well-traveled areas.

  • Keep your distance when anyone in a car asks you for directions.

  • Wear clothes and shoes that you are able to move in.

  • Have your key ready before you reach the door for home, the office or the car.

  • Always lock your car. Look inside the car before you get in.

  • Don't hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers.

 

RAPE DRUGS

  • Rape drugs are put into a victim's drink, food, or even chewing gum, and are used to make them more vulnerable to rape.

    To reduce the risk:

  • Do not leave beverages unattended.

  • Do not take beverages from someone you do not know well and trust.

  • At parties, bring your own beverages and do not accept open drinks from anyone.

  • Leave with the same group of people that you came with to the party.

 

WHAT TO DO IF AN ASSAULT HAPPENS

It's unpleasant and even frightening to think about, but the best way to prevent or survive an assault is to plan in advance how you would react in the face of a potential assault. Would you run and scream, or would you try to fight back? Some possible attackers will immediately give up if his or her target shows the least signs of resistance. Others will become more incensed and more violent if their victims try to fight back. Whatever your decision, be confident and prepared to follow through.

  • Try to escape. Scream, yell, kick, fight, and run.

  • Talk, stall for time, and assess your situation.

  • If your attacker has a weapon, do whatever it takes to stay alive.

  • If your attacker tries to move you to another area, try to prevent that.

 

AS A MAN, YOU CAN....

  • Realize that forcing a woman to have sex against her will is rape, a violent crime with serious consequences.

  • Accept a woman's decision when she says "no." Don't see it as a challenge.

  • Ask yourself how sexual stereotypes affect your attitudes and actions toward women.

  • Don't use alcohol and other drugs: it clouds your judgment and understanding of what another person wants.

  • Get help if you see men involved in a gang rape.

  • Understand that if a woman is drunk and you have sex with her against her will, it's still rape.

  • Seek counseling or a support group to help you if you feel violent or aggressive toward women.

 

SURVIVING RAPE

  • Report rape or sexual assault to the police or rape crisis center. The sooner you report this crime, the sooner your attacker can be sought.

  • Preserve all physical evidence. Don't take a shower, bathe, change clothes, douche, or throw away anything that you were wearing during the attack. Don't even clean your fingernails.

  • Go to the emergency room or to your doctor for medical care immediately. Don't go alone. Ask a friend or family member to drive you and to wait for you until your exam is finished.

  • If you think you've been sexually assaulted under the influence of a date rape drug, get medical help immediately. Try not to urinate before providing any urine samples. If possible, collect any containers from which you drank. 
  • Get counseling to help you deal with what happened. Sexual assault is physically and emotionally traumatic.
  • Constantly remind yourself that this is not your fault.