Anyone can be a victim of rape and other sexual violations at any place or time. This realization raises the need to be armed with tips on how to prevent such situations, as the effects of rape are far-reaching and long-lasting to both the victim, family, and friends.
While total prevention/ elimination may appear impossible, reducing the possibility of its occurrence is the goal, thus the need for strategies and tips on getting out of potential rape situations.
- Avoid walking, jogging, or driving in dark, isolated, deserted places.
- Always stay aware of your environment. Don’t walk around with headphones covering both ears.
- Avoid looking lost and confused in public places. Perpetuators may take advantage of your confusion.
- Listen to your intuition at all times, and if you feel uncomfortable, immediately find an escape route.
- If you believe you are getting stalked, walk to the nearest police station or reputable place of business.
- Hold purses and other valuables close to your person.
- Endeavor to go out with friends and stick with them throughout the night. In the event you decide to go out alone, ensure not to get excessively intoxicated, which can affect clarity of thoughts and actions. Also, make prior provision for your return transportation.
- Don’t go home with a stranger or someone you just met on a night out.
- Never leave your drinks unattended to and if you do, don’t drink it again. Get a new drink.
- Don’t reveal too much on social media, particularly your location, place of residence, etc.
- Change locks when moving to a new house, and ascertain lock on windows and other openings are tight.
- Both care and home doors must be locked at all times, and pay extra attention when you enter.
- Ensure visitors properly identify themselves before opening the door.
- Before entering your parked car, look inside, under, and between cars, to ensure perpetrators are not hiding.
- Keep legal weapons, flashlights, maps, etc. at arm’s length.
ENCOUNTERING A SEXUAL PREDATOR
- If unfortunately, you find yourself in a potential rape situation, endeavor to stay as calm as possible. This will enable you to make better decisions and gather strength to attack or fight back.
- State unequivocally and clearly your lack of interest in having sexual intercourse.
- Have a special danger/emergency code with family and friends.
- Make up excuses, e.g. menstrual period, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
- Actively look for an escape route.
- Call attention to yourself by screaming, getting dramatic, and frantic. ASK FOR HELP.
- If attacked, scratch the aggressor with your fingernails, pull hair, etc. and run to the nearest police station or where help can be gotten.
- Do not wash hands or do anything that can tamper with physical and biological evidence including attacker’s skin under your fingers, strands of hair in your body, etc.
- If the attacker is armed, the above tactics may not work, as an act of aggression may lead to anger, violence, and even death. However, violence may be the last resort to avoiding getting violated sexually.
- If you believe the risk of harm is low, your chance of escape is high and you choose to fight back, your actions must be unexpected, sudden, and intensely painful. Target the most vulnerable areas such as the testicles, eye socket, nose, insteps, or windpipe with the intention of causing bodily harm. Once you find an escape route, run without looking back!
Remember, your safety is your responsibility. Always be at alert and follow your intuitions about persons, situations, and places.
Call 112 or 767 to report rape and other sexual violations.