Men, women, and children can become victims of sexual assault or rape. It is important to highlight that the victim is never at fault. On college campuses, alcohol factors in almost all incidences of sexual assault. Therefore, it is important to drink responsibly and try to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Rapists and sexual assault perpetrators are often known by their victims and some are even members of the victim’s family. A rape or sexual assault can take place in various places, including at home, a party or on a date. While there is no absolute method of preventing sexual assault, the information below will help you to avoid becoming a victim. Most of these tips are formulated from the content of interviews conducted with imprisoned rapists and sexual predators:
What Attracts Rapists to Potential Victims
Rapists typically go after women with hairstyles that can be easily grabbed; these include buns, ponytails and braids. Additionally, they usually prefer to attack women with long hair.
The type of clothing worn is also a factor used by these predators to assess potential victims. They typically target women who are dressed in clothing that can easily be removed. A number of these rapists also carry around scissors to quickly get rid of clothing.
These predators also look for women who are not paying attention to what is going on around them. They could be doing activities like rummaging through a purse or using a mobile devise or while walking or sitting in their cars. Being distracted makes them targets of being easily overpowered.
These rapists intend to grab a victim and quickly transport him or her to another location. This place is usually somewhere they are less likely to get caught.
Other Things to Bear In Mind
Strike Up a Conversation
If you believed you are being followed while in a parking garage, stairwell, elevator or on the street, look the person straight in the eye and strike up a conversation. You could talk about the weather or any topic on current events. If a predator knows you can readily identify him, your appeal as a target will usually dim.
Establish Your Position
If you feel threatened and someone is coming toward you, extend your hands to the front and yell as loud as you can. You can yell things like “Stay back,” “Stop” or “Back up!” The majority of the interviewed rapists said they would leave potential victims alone if they yelled or display signs that the potential victims would not be opposed to fighting.
If you have pepper spray, hold it up and loudly establish that you have it. Showing that you are not afraid to use is typically a deterrent.
• Putting up any type of a fight will get them discouraged. It takes only a minute or two for the perpetrators to realize it will be a lengthy process to go after you. This is a deterrent because they do not want to risk getting caught.
• If you are approached from behind, you will not be able to beat the rapist with strength. However, you can outsmart him. If he grabs you around the waist, use all your strength to pinch his upper inner thigh area or under the arm between his armpit and elbow. Doing it hard enough could actually rip out muscles, leaving the perpetrator in tremendous pain and in need of stitches.
• Always go for the groin after the first hit; a hit to the groin is tremendously painful. While he is recoiling in pain, you can run away or deliver more blows to ensure he cannot run away. These predators are usually looking for women they think won’t cause a lot of trouble or risk his freedom.
• If he places his hands within your reach, grab two of his fingers and forcibly bend them back as far as you can. Use as much pressure as possible, pushing down hard to inflict maximum pain.
Additional Sexual Assault Defense and Safety Tips
• Avoid the stairs and use the elevator. A stairwell can provide an ideal spot for crime and is a horrifying place to be alone.
• If you get thrown into a car trunk, kick the tail lights out and start waving wildly. The rapist will not be able to see you but other motorists will.
Parking Lot/Parking Garage Safety
• Women are often abducted in public restrooms, office parking garages and the parking lots of grocery stores.
• Avoid getting into your car and sit there doing things like making a list, balancing your checkbook or talking on the phone. A predator who is watching you will see this as a perfect opportunity to pounce. Close and lock the car doors as soon as you enter the vehicle and leave immediately.
• If your vehicle is parked close to a big van, use the passenger door to enter. Many rapists attack victims by dragging them into their vans as the woman is trying to get into her vehicle.
• Before entering, look around in your car in case anyone is hiding in the back seat or on the passenger side. This should be done before entering a taxi as well.
The interviewed rapists said that women who carry umbrellas or similar objects are generally avoided. These objects can be used from a distance to inflict damage; therefore, they tend to leave these women alone. They are usually not deterred by women with keys in their hands because the woman could only use them as a weapon if she is very close to the assailant.
If possible, take someone with you, especially when you venture out at night. Being consistently aware of your surroundings is also vital. Additionally, if you witness any type of odd behavior that make you feel uneasy, go with your instincts and do not dismiss it. At the time you may feel silly for making a fuss; however, it is always better to be safe than sorry.