What to Do About Sexual Violence

What to Do About Sexual Violence

Protecting Yourself from Rape
By Someone You Know

  • Know your sexual desires and limits ahead of time. Know what is OK for you and what is not.
  • Be clear with the person you’re with about what your limits are. Be sure you mean what you say.
  • Be alert for any warning signs.
  • If you aren’t sure about a new date, go out with a group of friends instead of alone.
  • Don’t ride alone with someone you recently met.
  • Have money for a bus or cab fare home.
  • Don’t be pressured into sex.
  • Trust your feelings. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave right away.

By Strangers

  • Know your neighbors. You can watch out for each other.
  • Burglar-proof your home.
  • Don’t let strangers into your home.
  • Be alert.
  • Stay on well-lighted streets with other people. 
  • Walk with confidence. Act sure of yourself and where you are going. 
  • If your car stalls, lift the hood and turn on the flashers. Stay in the car with the doors locked. Wait for the police.

Stopping Sexual Harassment
If You Are Harassed

  • If it is at school or work, find out if there is a sexual harassment policy in place. If so, use it. If not, ask why not.
  • Write down the dates and the events that happened.
  • Talk to a trusted friend.
  • Say no to the harassment. One way is in a letter that tells the facts, your feelings and what you want to happen next.
  • Find out if others have been harassed. Maybe they will come forward, too. 

When You Are in Danger
If Someone Attacks You

  • Try to stay calm. It is easier to think clearly when you are calm. 
  • Fight, scream or run away if you can.
  • Don’t plead or cry. It probably will not help.
  • Say that you have a sexually transmitted disease, like herpes or HIV. 
  • Trust your feelings. Sometimes it is safer not to fight or run away.
  • If you have to submit, remember you are not responsible in any way for the rape.

If You Are Raped
After the Crime

  • You are the victim of a crime. Don’t blame yourself.
  • Get medical attention.
  • Seek help and support.

These Peole Can Help

  • Counselors at women’s centers, sexual assault centers or school counseling centers
  • Rape hotlines
  • Emergency room staff, doctors, nurses, and other health care providers.
  • Police who are trained to help rape victims. 

(from Sexual Violence by Nora J. Krantzler, PhD, MPH, 1998)