Is There Anything Else I Can Do

Is there anything I can I do to decrease the risk of myself or a friend being assaulted?

Most of us don't really consider ourselves as potential victims of any crime. Yet, the statistics indicate that 1 out of 4 young women will become a victim of sexual assault in her lifetime with 9% of all rape victims being male. The odds are that we know or will know someone who is a victim of this crime.

  1. Most rapes are among acquaintances.
  2. Use the buddy system when at social functions.
    Don't let a friend leave a party, a bar, whatever with someone they've just met.
  3. Ask questions now -- not later.
    What is the person's full name? Where does the person live?  Anything that could identify the individual later if you were to become a victim of sexual assault.  Sexual assault is a devastatingly horrible crime made worse when you have no information to work with if you choose to report.
  4. When going out on a date
    with someone the first few times, go out with a group of friends or meet your date at a location you know well. This gives you an opportunity to get to know your date in a more controlled environment.
  5. Watch for "warning" signs.
    The date who insists on making all the decisions about where you're going for dinner, what movie you're going to see or the activities planned for the date is neither listening nor interested in what you would like to be doing.  A date who doesn't listen or respect your opinion is unlikely to hear the word "NO."
  6. Send the Same Message.
    Make sure your verbal and non-verbal actions are conveying the same message. 
    Mixed messages are confusing and lead to the "but, I thought" logic. Avoid the problem of miscommunication by sending clear, uncompromising messages that can't be misinterpreted by the receiver.
  7. Alcohol is involved in over 75% of rapes.
    Know your limit and don't cross it. We all know that alcohol tends to lower inhibitions, cloud objectivity, limit the powers of observation, increase aggressive tendencies and obliterates common sense. Don't risk becoming a target.
  8. NEVER leave your drink unattended.
    NEVER let someone else mix your drink. NEVER accept an open container.  Victims assaulted under the influence of a sedating substance have additional issues that are likely to affect their recovery -- issues oftentimes involving their inability to recall the incident.