Years ago, I coordinated a Rape Crisis program. I worked with victims of rape who ranged in age from several months old up to elderly grandmas. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. We all want to avoid being victimized. Here’s a list of tips that may help lessen the chance of being victimized.
1. Be alert. Walk confidantly without doing anything else like talking on your cell phone or rummaging through your purse.
2. Put up a fight. Shout. Spray with pepper spray. Most rapists will figure it’s too much trouble.
3. If you’re grabbed around the waist, pinch them HARD under the arm between the armpit and elbow, then, punch the groin.
4. If he holds his hand up coming toward your face, grab his first two fingers and bend them backward.
5. If you see any odd behavior, trust your instincts. It’s better to look silly by shouting at someone than getting raped.
6. Try to have someone with you when you go out walking.
7. Keep your car locked when driving.
8. Don’t pick up hitchhikers or standed motorists. Report them to the police.
9. When leaving your car, lock it.
10. Keep doors and windows in your home locked. Don’t allow strangers to come in.
11. Don’t advertise on social media or dating sites that you live alone.
12. Vary your habits.
13. When you move to a new place, have the locks changed.
14. Use an entrance light at your door.
15. Check identification of salespersons or service persons who come to your door.
16. Know your neighbors and report strangers to the police.
17. Develop a neighborhood watch program.
18. Don’t enter your home if you come home, and the door is ajar. Call the police and wait in a safe place.
19. When giving directions to someone in a car, stand a safe distance away.
20. If someone is following you when you are walking, go into a store or neighbor’s house.
21. Always park in a well-lit spot.
22. Make sure your keys are in your hand when you go to your car.
23. Check around and under your car as you approach it.
24. Take a self-defense course.
IF YOUR ARE ASSAULTED:
Your body is the evidence. Don’t bathe, douche or change your clothes. Go to the nearest emergency room and have evidence taken. Report the crime to the police. And remember, it is NOT your fault when you are the victim of the crime of rape. For more information, check out the Rape, Assault and Incest National Network (RAINN) at www.rainn.org or call their national hotline at 800.656.4673.
If you have been a victim of nonconsensual sex and want support as you work through the consequences, give me a call at 404.518.0828. I coordinated a Rape Crisis Program for 2.5 years and know that you can get through this. Dr. Sharman Colosetti