Crime Victims Services - Sexual Assault - Reduce your Risk

Reduce Your Risk of Attack

Plan now what to do in case of an attack, before you are actually in danger. Think about your lifestyle. Assess potential areas of vulnerability at home, on the job, in your neighborhood, and among acquaintances. Imagine what you could do to help yourself if you are attacked. Think through several situations from beginning to end. Imagine yourself successfully avoiding an attach. Share your ideas with friends. Learn from each other.

Strategies with Acquaintances

  • Develop a healthy mistrust. You cannot distinguish a man who rapes from one who does not based on physical appearance, profession, income level, ethnic background, education, religion, or sexual preference. Get to know people slowly and in group situations.
  • Drugs and/or other substances can be slipped into a person’s drink to make a victim more vulnerable.
  • Prepare your own beverage.
  • Develop a buddy system to avoid being isolated. Drive to gatherings with a friend. Leave together.
  • Keep an eye out for each other. Trust your instincts – if a situation doesn’t feel right, GET AWAY.
  • Set sexual limits that are comfortable for you. If you feel you are being isolated or pressured into unwanted sex, you are probably right.
  • Strategies at Home

  • Teach all family members to use 9-1-1 when appropriate.
  • Know who your neighbors are. Organize and/or participate in a Neighborhood Watch program.
  • Make a “safe room” in your home where you can lock yourself in and an intruder out, preferably with a phone.
  • ALWAYS verify the identity of persons coming to your home before you open your door.
  • Strategies When Out and About

  • If you must walk/jog alone, do so against traffic, keep your head up and look around constantly.
  • If you are followed by someone in a car, turn and run in the opposite direction. Go to a well-lit populated area.
  • Avoid hitchhiking.
  • Try to keep your car in good repair with enough gas to reach your destination.
  • If you are approached while stopped at a light, sound the horn and accelerate (if safe to do so).
  • Keep your door locked at all times.
  • Strategies if Attacked

  • Remain as calm and alert as possible. Always look for an opportunity to escape. Be aware your attacker and your environment so you can describe both to the police.
  • Scream “no”, “get away from me”, “leave me alone”, etc.
  • Avoid pleading or begging – this feeds into the attacker’s need for power and control.
  • Try to take something from the scene of the attack with you and leave something of yours behind.