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Safety Tips - Rape Protective Measures
Rape is a violent crime, an invasion, a frightening experience. Rape affects all women, no matter what their age, race or economic status. All women are potential victims of sexual assault. By being aware, a woman can reduce the likelihood of becoming a rape victim. This does not mean all rapes can be prevented. Rapists commit rape -- NOT VICTIMS.

Psychological Preparedness

1. Accept the fact that you are a potential rape victim. Many women operate under the illusion "it will never happen to me. It may.
2. Educate yourself concerning rape prevention tactics.
3. Become familiar with community rape prevention and counseling.
4. Become aware of locations and situations where rape is more likely to occur and avoid them, or take precautions.

In a Dating/Friend Situation

1. The majority of rapes that occur are termed "acquaintance rapes" - the rapist and victim know one another. Trust your feelings. If you become uncomfortable in a situation, assertively ask the person to leave. Don't worry about hurt feelings.
2. If possible, let a friend or roommate know who you are with and where you will be. Leave an address and phone number when possible.

In Your Car

1. Keep windows and doors locked.
2. If you should be followed into your driveway, stay in your car with the doors locked. Sound horn to get the attention of neighbors or scare the other driver off.
3. When parking at night, select a place that will be well-lit when returning to the car.
4. Always make sure the car is locked and have the keys ready when returning to the car.
5. Check interior of car before getting in.

On the Street

1. Be observant of things around you. If someone is following you, go to the nearest house or store.
2. Walk near the curb and avoid passing close to shrubbery, dark doorways and other places of concealment.
3. DO NOT HITCHHIKE.
4. Avoid short cuts through parking lots and alleys.
5. Walk with a friend if at all possible. Don't walk alone.
6. If a car approaches you and you feel threatened, scream and run in the direction opposite of the one the car is going.
7. When arriving home by taxi or private auto, ask the driver to wait until you are inside.
8. Don't jog in secluded areas.
9. Know the location of the special emergency phones.

In Your Home

1. The best lock cannot function if you fail to lock it. Be sure to keep your doors locked.
2. All windows should have secure locks and frames.
3. All entrances and garages should be well-lit.
4. Never open the door after a knock. Require the person to give their name. In the case of service persons ask for proper I.D. and refuse entrance if you feel uneasy.

Things To Remember

If You Are Sexually Assaulted The best resistance you can use against an attacker is your common sense. Think! Don't panic. The most important element to remember is that you are not trying to fight the attacker, but are attempting to divert the person long enough to get away. Always look for a way to escape. If the attacker has a weapon, use your common sense. Fighting against it could be dangerous.

1. Stay calm. Do not do anything that may upset the attacker.
2. Try to convince the person to put the weapon down.
3. Talk to your attacker, show sympathy and understanding.
4. Make the attacker see you as an individual, not as an object. If the attacker is unarmed, you may be able to scare, distract or injure the person enough to make your escape.
5. Scream "FIRE," "POLICE," or create a disturbance that will attract attention.
6. Assert yourself and fight back if you can do so safely.
7. Break away and run toward areas with people.
8. Be observant so that you will be able to remember and identify the assailant.
9. Report the incident to the police as soon as possible.

Checklist for Victims of Sexual Assault

You may want to call the Rape Crisis Line for instructions and support.

1. Report the crime immediately to the police.
2. Do not shower, douche, or change clothing.
3. Have a medical exam and internal gynecological exam as soon as possible. A delay in time may destroy evidence. a) Semen smears must be taken by a clinician. b) Inform clinician of exact acts committed upon you and have the clinician note any medical evidence of them. c) Clinician should note any bruises or injuries bleeding, lacerations, etc.) external or internal. d) Have clinician test for venereal diseases (and pregnancy later, if relevant).
4. Do not disturb the scene of the assault.
5. Inform police of all details of attack, however intimate, and of anything unusual you may have noted about the attacker. Remember what the person said and how it was said. It may lead to the arrest of the assailant.
6. Show police any external bruises or injuries, however minor, resulting from the attack.
7. Police may request your clothes for purpose of evidence.
8. Inform the police if you remember anything that was not previously reported.

Rape Awareness List For Nice Guys

1. Always interrupt any buddy who you see violating - verbally or physically - a woman's space.
2. Don't join in if friends egg you on to participate in paying unwanted sexual attention to a woman at a party, in a bar, or on the street.
3. Don't ogle, whistle at, talk to, or look over women in ways that make them feel uncomfortable. If you aren't sure what makes a woman uncomfortable, ask her.
4. Never put the blame on a woman who you've heard was raped by saying things like: "she shouldn't have gone there/worn that/drank that. " None of these things excuses a crime as heinous as rape.
5. Never believe that only attractive women get raped, or imply a man wouldn't have raped a woman because "she isn't pretty." Rape is a crime of aggression, dominance, and violence, not a beauty contest.
6. When a woman says "no," believe her. Never imagine "no" means "maybe" or "yes." Abandon the dangerous myth that women just can't admit they want sex and men have to overcome their hesitation. "No" means "no." Always.
7. If a woman says "maybe," but then decides "no," take no for an answer. Women have the right to set limits on sexual behavior -- just as you do.
8. If you feel you're getting a double message, say so. Ask her what she wants. If she says she isn't sure, assume the answer is no and let it go.
9. Never think a woman owes a man sex, under any circumstances. Sexual intercourse is not payback for an expensive meal or an evening out on the town.
10. Never voice, believe, or support the idea that a woman "wanted it." If you heard that a buddy who was tossed in jail for one night was raped, would you think he "wanted it?"

The info on this page was reprinted with permission from
South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault