Sexual Assault Prevention
Know the Facts About Rape
- Rape can happen to anyone. Students, working women, wives, mothers, children, grandmothers, and even males are the victims of rape.
- Rape can occur anywhere and at anytime, in public or in your own home, day or night.
- Rape is a violent crime, a hostile attack, an attempt to hurt and humiliate. It is not the result of "uncontrolled passions."
- Rape is one of the most under reported crimes. The majority of rapist continue until caught. So report any kind of sexual assault.
- Rapists are not necessarily strangers. In fact, in over one-third of reported cases, the rapist is an acquaintance, neighbor, friend or relative of the victim.
The more you know about rape prevention, the better your chances are of never becoming a victim.
- First, know the facts about rape. Become aware of locations and situations where rape might occur and avoid them, if possible.
- Consider your alternatives if confronted by a rapist. Practice possible responses so that you can recall them even under the stress of an encounter
Safety at Home
Many rapes occur in or near the victim’s home. One of the best ways to prevent sexual assault is to practice good home security:
- Don’t let any strangers into your home, no matter what the reason or how dire the emergency is supposed to be. Offer to make an emergency phone call while they wait outside.
- If strangers telephone or come to your door, don’t admit that you are alone.
- If you are alone, use only your last name and initials on mail boxes and in telephone directories.
- If you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry, DON’T GO IN! Go to the nearest phone and call the police or sheriff.
- If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or garage by yourself, especially at night.
- Install a peephole viewer in your door, NEVER open your door without knowing who is on the other side.
- Install effective locks on all doors and windows - and use them.
- Require salespeople or repair people to show identification.
Don’t Walk into Danger
- Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you - especially if you are alone or it is dark. Know where help may be if you should need it.
- If you are in danger, scream and run, or yell "fire".
- If you think you are being followed, walk quickly to areas where there are lights and people. If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk on the other side of the street.
- Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
- Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where rapists can hide.
- Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace on the side of the street facing traffic. A rapist looks for someone who appears vulnerable.
- Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
- Always lock your car doors after entering or leaving your car.
- Have your car keys in your hand and check the back seat area before entering your car.
- If your car breaks down, turn on your flashers, open the hood, attach a white cloth to the antenna, and wait inside your car with the doors locked. If someone stops to help, stay in your car and ask them to call the police, a garage or a tow service for you.
- If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place or to a police or sheriff’s station.
- Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank at least half full.
- Park in well-lighted areas.
Carrying weapons for self-defense is a decision that should not be made without careful research and adequate training. Also, there are many laws which regulate and/or restrict the types of self-defense weapons available. Be Safe - for more information, contact the Taylor Police Department at 734-287-6611.
If You are Attacked
Remember, your main concern must always be your safety. No one can tell you whether you should fight back, submit or resist.
It depends on you and the situation. Keep assessing the situation as it is happening. If one strategy doesn’t work, try another. Possible options are: negotiating, stalling for time, distracting the assailant and fleeing to a safe place, verbal assertiveness, screaming to attract attention, or physical resistance. Your best defense, however, is to be prepared - know your options ahead of time. Your safety may depend upon your ability to stay cool and calm.
If You are a Victim of Rape
- Do not wash, douche, change clothes or clean up in any way until after talking to the police and going to the hospital. You could destroy valuable evidence for court use.
- Go to a safe place immediately and call the police, sheriff, a rape crisis center, doctor, friend or relative. The sooner you make the report, the greater the chances the attacker will be caught.
- Remember, you are the victim. You have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. You may want to contact a treatment or crisis center to help you deal with the consequences of the assault.