Protecting Against Sexual Assault

Sexual assault, most often in the form of rape, can happen to anyone. To stay safe, always be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Sexual assaults are serious and violent crimes, not the expression of uncontrolled passion.

Sexual assault is never 100% preventable, but taking certain measures can reduce the chances:

  • Be aware of locations and situations where assaults may occur and avoid them as much as possible.
  • If you feel uncomfortable about a person or location, leave immediately.
  • Observe details about suspicious persons. Taking note of a person's size, coloring, hairstyle, facial hair, scars, tattoos, or accent can help you give a good description.
  • List only your initials and last name in the telephone directory or on a mailbox.
  • Install a peephole in your front door and never open the door for strangers.
  • Avoid traveling alone and keep a cell phone nearby to dial 9-1-1 in case of emergency.
  • While at home, lock all doors and possible entrances.
  • Keep entrances well-lit.
  • Never indicate to a stranger that you are home alone.
  • Get to know your neighbors you can rely on for help.
  • While walking be aware of your surroundings. Walk near the street in a well-lit area.
  • Carry a noise making device.

While driving:

  • Keep your car in good working order and make sure to always have gas.
  • Park in well-lit areas, close the windows and lock the doors at all times.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Use extra caution when using enclosed parking garages.

If you are followed:

  • Drive to an open business where you can call the police.
  • Don't leave your car unless you are sure you can get to a safe place.

If you are attacked:

  • Think rationally and evaluate your resources and options
  • Attract attention
  • Fake fainting
  • Physical resistance
  • Run

After an assault or rape:

  • Go to a safe place and call the police immediately.
  • Do not shower or clean your body in any way, and keep the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. This will preserve all physical evidence for use in court.
  • If you cannot wait for law enforcement, go directly to the hospital.
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