Staff

More »

Rape

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Rape, also called sexual assault, can happen to both men and women of any age.  Rape is forced and unwanted. It's about power, not sex.

Facts About Rape

  • Rape is a violent crime, a hostile attack, NOT the result of "uncontrolled passions"
  • Rape can happen to anyone regardless of age or gender: children, grandmothers, students, working women, wives, mothers, and even males
  • Rape is difficult to anticipate. It can happen in public or in your own home, during the day or at night.
  • Rapists are not necessarily strangers. In over one-third of reported cases, the rapist is an acquaintance, neighbor, friend or relative of the victim.

 Read our Prevention Tips and learn more about:

Prevention Tips

No one can tell you whether you should fight back, submit, or resist.  IT DEPENDS ON YOU AND THE SITUATION.  However, your best defense is to be prepared by knowing your options ahead of time, and your safety may depend upon your ability to stay cool and calm.

  • Become aware of locations and situations where rape is more likely to occur, and avoid them.
  • Consider your alternatives if confronted by a rapist.  Practice possible responses so that you can recall them even under the stress of a real encounter.
Location Prevention Tips

Outside

Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you, especially if you are alone or it is dark, and:

  • Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
  • Stay in well-lit areas as much as possible.
  • Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace. Rapists look for people who appear vulnerable.
  • Walk on the side of the street facing traffic, and close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where rapists can hide.
  • If you think you are being followed, walk quickly to areas where there are lights and other people. If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk in the opposite direction, or walk on the other side of the street.
  • If in danger, attract as much attention as possible: scream and run, yell "FIRE!" or break a window.

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.
  • Install a peephole viewer in your door.  NEVER open your door without knowing who is on the other side.  Require salespersons or repairmen to show identification.
  • If strangers telephone or come to your door, don't admit that you are alone.
  • If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or garage by yourself, especially at night.
  • If you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry, don't go in. Go to the nearest safe location and call the police.

Car Safety

  • Always lock car doors after entering or leaving your car.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Have your car keys in your hand so that you don't have to linger before entering your car. Keys can also serve as a possible weapon against an attacker.
  • Check the back seat before entering your car.
  • If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place or a police station.
  • Install effective locks on all doors and windows and use them.
  • If your car breaks down, open the hood and attach a white cloth to the car antenna. If someone stops to help, stay in your locked car and ask them to call the police or a tow vehicle.

      If You Are a Victim of a Rape

      • Get help quickly! Call the police, sheriff, a rape crisis center, doctor, friend or relative.
      • 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).

      Remember, you are the victim.  You have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about.

      Weapons

      Carrying weapons for self-defense is controversial and sometimes illegal.  Be safe by contacting our Administrative Services Bureau for more information.