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.
- 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)