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