Do not be distracted, especially by technology. Do not jog with your iPod because attackers are looking for easy, distracted individuals who look-like they are not paying attention to surroundings. The same can be said for talking on your cell phone. But, on the other hand, if you feel someone is following you, pull out your cell phone and pretend to be talking to someone because your “conversation partner” would be aware of an attack. If your potential attacker is going for “no witnesses,” they might back off and change their mind. You can even pretend you are meeting-up with someone and they are already here/heading this way VERY soon. Don’t say “5 minutes” or the attacker may only decide to take action quicker. If they think you are in safe hands or will be in less than a minute, they might back off.
Learn to trust your gut instincts. It could save you from being raped or worse. If you feel uneasy or unsure in anyway, it is in your best interest to get away and get help. Use your instincts and be aware of your FREEZE instinct. Move quickly … fight, flight or freeze are our natural instincts, so be aware that all 3 exist.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Parking lots and parking garages are two of the sites that are most often targeted by attempted rapists. These men are predators, so view your surroundings carefully. If you are in a parking lot and feel someone is following you, start making noise – talk to yourself loudly, talk to an imaginary person, or pretend to talk on your cell phone. The louder the potential victim, the more the predator is apt to freeze.
Understand that your hairstyle could benefit an attacker. Ponytails and long hair are the number one styles rapists seek because long hair and ponytails are easy to grab.
Use your loudest voice if you have any doubts. Remember, its better to be considered crazy, than to keep quiet to avoid weird looks.
Carry defensive items only if you know how to use them. Remember, any “weapon” that could hurt a potential attacker can be used against you if you are not well trained and comfortable with it. If you are going to carry a handgun, make sure to take classes in its use, practice often at a firing range, and apply for a concealed weapons permit; if you carry a knife, take a course in the most effective way to use it. Remember that even an umbrella or purse can be used as a weapon against an attacker, and has less chance of being turned against you.
Yell, shout and draw attention to yourself. Attackers usually have an idea of how the attack will happen. Disrupt that idea. Fight like a psychotic cat, and yell loudly and strongly;
Yell “CALL 911 NOW.” There is a common belief it is better to call “fire” than help – however many believe this is misguided, if not plain wrong. The ‘fire idea” is based on the belief that people don’t want to get involved in assisting therefore you should trick them into believing there is a fire. This could be unwise. Numerous bystander studies (e.g. Latane and Darley) show the reason bystanders do not help is a simple one; confusion. Bystanders are unsure of what is going on; do the attacker and victim know each other? etc. This would suggest it is better to “tell it like it is” and yell “POLICE!” “CALL 911 NOW,” “GUN,” or “HELP!” Words such as “POLICE” are more likely to scare the attacker and alert bystanders to the truth of the situation – Yelling “Fire” will get people’s attention, but when there clearly isn’t one, the word “POLICE” might work faster. Studies have also suggested this effective strategy: pointing at an individual bystander and saying “you sir, in the white shirt, I need your help now! – This man is attacking me…” Tell it like it is, and point to an individual.
Take a basic self defense course, such as Rape Aggression Defense (RAD). Contact your local police office for programs such as RAD.
Stay careful at parties and bars. Treat your drink like a $100.00 bill. Don’t let anyone hold your drink. Do not leave your drink anywhere. Avoid anything that somebody gives you. It could be “counterfeited.” Always hold, keep and get your own drinks. Never leave a drink unattended for even a moment. Keep your hand over the top of your drink because it’s easy to drop something into it. Do not accept a drink from a date unless the bartender or waitstaff delivers it straight to you. Don’t want to be rude? Who cares, just state your preferences, AND if he doesn’t adhere to the waiter drink delivery, then take the drink to the restroom with you and dump it. GHB dissolves immediately, especially if its powdered. DO NOT leave your friends alone and drunk. DO NOT be left behind by your friends. Tell other people where you are going. Be aware of public bathrooms in clubs and bars. Women have been attacked in the ladies room if it is deserted.
Think and practice being careful at dance clubs or other places with loud music. Sometimes it is so loud that nobody will be able to hear you cry for help.
Work on being assertive. If somebody is giving you unwanted attention, tell them to back off. There is no need to be polite when somebody is making unwanted sexual advances.
Plan. If a rapist is in your car and is sitting in the passenger seat with a weapon to you, they will tell you to go somewhere where they are less likely to be witnessed. Whatever you do, don’t follow their directions. Put on your seat belt, then drive into something stationary, like a dumpster or lamp post. The airbag and seat belt will keep you alive, and the crash will draw attention. It is better to be in a car accident than get raped and possibly killed. Stay calm and try to surprise the rapist.
Understand that Vans are the #1 vehicles used in rapes. Rapists will park next to the driver’s side and, as you are trying to get in, they will pull you into the van. If there is a van on the driver’s side of your car, go in through the passenger’s door. If there are vans on both sides, go back to where you were and get someone like a security guard to walk you to your car. Don’t park any place that feels unsafe.
Practice being careful when going into your house or car because someone could easily push you in and lock the door behind you. Be aware of your surroundings; carry your keys ready in your hand and look around you before opening the door.
Keep personal information private. Don’t advertise your info verbally or on the Internet. Also, be very wary of meeting up with anyone whom you meet on the Internet. There is never a good reason to meet up with a person whom you have never met in person, or who talks you into meeting-up when you are hesitant. If you think you must do so, bring someone else, preferably a friend who is older and meet the person in a public place.
Understand vulnerability factors: According to the CDC, vulnerabilities include prior sexual abuse as a minor, being female (gender), being under the age of 18, alcohol or drug use, and predators who groom their victims into believing …
Walk with confidence. Look up as you walk and stand up straight; pretending as though you have two big panthers on either side of you as you walk may sound silly, but it can help boost confidence. Attackers are more likely to go for those who they think cannot defend themselves.
Notice and leave identifying marks. A large bite mark on their face, punctured eyeball, deeply scratched leg, ripped out piercing etc. is easily identifiable, as are memorable tattoos, etc. Think kill. Go for weak spots like eyes (poke hard), nose (hard upward motion with the lower part of your open hand) genitals (grab really tightly and squeeze or punch hard) etc. to make sure the person’s hands aren’t free to punch or hold on to you and you can run for it. If you are in a place where you can’t run, notice your surroundings and leave a mark on them if you can. Rapists have been caught because their victims left identifiable teeth marks, nail marks, or DNA in the cars or rooms where they were assaulted.
Bring a dog, if going to the park, beach, etc. alone. If you have a dog with you, it’s like having another person with you. Large dogs are intimidating to predators, even if your pet isn’t exactly brave. If you don’t have a large dog, bring the small one anyway. Chances are when your little pup sees you in trouble, he’ll be more than happy to protest. Predators won’t usually attack a person with a dog, large or small, because dogs usually make such a racket you’re bound to draw attention, which is undesirable for predators. Who knows – your poodle may just surprise your attacker when he grabs you.
Mentally prepare if you are taken by a rapist. You must do everything in your power to escape even if it means hurting yourself. Sometimes, the rapist will kill his victims to prevent him from being caught or identified. If the rapist comes in your home, throw heavy items through windows and at the rapist. Make as much noise as you can. Do not get in the car or van with them if you can help it. Jump out of a moving car or crash the car if you are driving. Look for every opportunity to hurt them and escape. Take your extreme fear and turn it into fighting anger at your attacker. Do not be passive unless you feel you have to because a weapon is on you. Never give up without fighting a battle.
Make eye contact if you are being followed by someone who you think is a potential threat. An attacker may be less likely to strike if they think you will be able to clearly identify them.
Never get into a potential rapist’s car or allow them into yours if you can avoid it. Run, scream, fight or do whatever you can to keep from being forced into that car, because once you are mobile, this increases the likelihood that you will be taken to a remote location where the rapist can take their time. It is preferable to be injured and escape than to be taken to the middle of nowhere and killed.
Learn to sing. This means Solar Plexus-Instep-Nose-Groin, the four attack points you should focus on if grabbed from behind. Elbow them in the solar plexus, stomp on the foot as hard as you can, and when they let go, turn around and jam the palm of your hand into their nose in an upward motion, then finish with a knee to the groin. This may disable your assailant long enough for you to get away. Don’t worry about hurting them, because they intend to do something much worse to you Do anything that can prevent them Raping you If none of this works Just scream and shout but if your in the middle of nowhere Try fighting and running to cover or higher ground.
Keep legal and advised types of sprays, pepper and chilly powder in your bag.
Get a dog
When at home, play it safe by never letting people into your home that you do not know. If it is a handyman, cable repair, etc, tell them you need to see a PHOTO ID and their truck. If you don’t trust them instantly, than do not let them in. If they do not look you in the eyes, have a PHOTO ID, drive a truck with the company name on it, or wear a uniform, that is suspicious behavior. Do not let them into your home! Ask them to call the company while they wait outside then have the company call you or call the company yourself.
Being the victim of child sexual abuse actually doubles the likelihood of adult sexual victimization because of increased levels of PTSD and traumatized psychological boundaries (Parillo et. al., 2003), (Sarkar, N.; Sarkar, R., 2005).
Ways to seek help to avoid this are listed below.
Remember that attackers usually want easy prey, so don’t cooperate! If you are sexually assaulted, yell things which make it clear everyone that the attacker’s actions are unwelcome.
DO NOT think you need to be nice. Be rude and hateful, because these predators will try everything possible to evoke a sympathetic response from you.
Intervention such as counseling for mental health issues (like PTSD) and for possible addictions related to the abuse can help people with child sexual abuse histories overcome some of the abuse-related sequel that make them vulnerable to adult re-victimization (Parillo et. al., 2003).
Raise your personal boundaries. Keep your inner-self protected psychologically and physically. Realize predators can spot easy targets through a quick psychological or visual glance.
Other factors influencing recovery are emotional support from friends, relations, social and community supports (Sarkar, N.; Sarkar, R., 2005).
Studies find that victims of multiple assaults have higher levels of PTSD than victims of only one assault. So if someone was assaulted twice in childhood and adolescence they would be at an increased risk of adult assault.
One study found that of the 433 sexually assaulted respondents, two-thirds reported more than one incident (Sorenson et. al., 1991)
Rape can and does strike anyone at anytime. Age, social class, ethnic group and has no bearing on the person a rapist chooses to attack. Research data clearly proves that a way a person dresses and/or acts does not influence the rapist’s choice of victims. His/her decision to rape is based on how easily he/she perceives his/her target can be intimidated. Rapists are looking for available and vulnerable targets. Statistics were obtained from various sources including the study Rape in America, 1992, National Victim Center, The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the National Crime Survey.
Your natural instinct can save your life. Pay attention to it. It is like radar and can prevent serious problems. A common reporting of women that are about to see their rapist is a quiet voice inside telling them something is very wrong. Listen and respect that voice. If there is a hint of danger about the person or surroundings, do not ignore it.
Rapists do not necessarily look like criminals. The person could look very normal, well groomed, athletic pleasant, young, etc. They might not look evil or like a bad guy. They could be your boss, a teacher, a neighbor, boyfriend or girlfriend, or relative.
Tell your attacker that you are pregnant. There is a possibility the attacker may feel some sympathy or remorse and may stop the rape.
Whenever possible, use your knee to deliver a sharp upwards blow, as hard as you can, to a male attacker’s crotch/groin area to temporarily disable him, allowing you some valuable time to make a quick escape.
Remember to improvise. Whatever you have on you can be used as a weapon in some way or form. For example, if you have a pair of high heels on, get those shoes off and stab them in the eye or something with the heel. Even your keys can be used as a weapon, if they’re spiky enough. Slit their wrist or throat or poke their eye out. Once they’re down, run away immediately and dial for help and run into the nearest crowded place and tell as many people as you can what happened to you. Do not wait for them to get back up. If they can, this will only make them even angrier and do worse things.
Scream. Scream your little lungs out like there’s no tomorrow. Scream in their ear if possible, this will deafen them momentarily. Unless they have a weapon to you, ignore them if they say not to scream. Shout “Rape!” or something to that effect, “Call the police, I am being raped!”
Don’t underestimate your abilities. The human body has amazing strength and wit in situations like this. Once the adrenaline gets going, as long as you are not too paralyzed by fear, you’d be surprised what you can do.
As cliche as it is, avoid going out at night. If you happen to be out at night, make sure it is a well-lit, crowded, main street and you are with at least one other person. Carry your cell phone in your hand ready to make a call, and, if you have one, a key in the other one to be used as a weapon.
It is also helpful to, if they are down for good, to leave a little note such as a piece of jewelry or a bandana or anything that is yours with them so they can be identified later on. Better yet, leave as many scratch marks, bites, bruises, or (as gross as it is) spit.
If you are in a moving vehicle, do not be afraid to jump out. A broken arm is better than your life. In the event that you are in the back of a van or trunk, look around. By law, all cars must have trunks that open from the inside, so if it is a newer car, you’re in luck. If it is a van with no doors, or they cannot be opened, punch through a window with a nearby object or even your fist, if you think you can. Like I said, you’re going to bleed and be injured, but wouldn’t you rather that than be raped and possibly killed?
If you notice, the easy targets are a straight line. Eyes, nose, mouth, throat, solar plexus, breasts (if a woman), stomach, groin, knees, and instep.
Only fight back if they make the first move. Otherwise, you could be charged with assault. Don’t beat them up before anything happens.
Remember, you have the right to mutilate your attacker. They had even worse intentions and you have full right to defend yourself. Don’t be afraid or nervous to do anything to them; they deserve it. Be as aggressive as possible.