To begin with, Rape is a crime and centers around an act of violence. The rapist attains euphoric feelings of complete domination, control, and power over the victim. Contrary to some public opinion, rape is not a crime of passion.
Statistically, one in three women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. The figure for men that are sexually assaulted is lower, yet still quite significant, at one in seven. It is very realistic to even consider these statistics a low calculation as only about 18% of rapes are ever reported to law enforcement agencies. Bringing these figures closer to home is this fact: in the United States alone, a woman is raped approximately every 7 or 8 minutes.
The rapist is most typically someone whom you know or have had acquaintance with. It could be a relative, friend, neighbor, someone from work, or a date. Rapists are normally repeat offenders, meaning they will continue to commit the crime until they are stopped.
Prevention begins with awareness. Always be aware of your surroundings including the environment and people. Be aware of your abilities as well as your limitations, this means both physical and emotional. First, be aware that rapes are more likely to occur in the evening and early morning hours of the day. The crime of rape is not particular to any one location, a good percentage of rapes occur in the victims home, dorms, with other locations ranging from parking lots, back alleys, parks, and buildings. Remember, the more knowledge you have on personal security, the greater your chances of survival evasion, resistance, and escape.
The following are a few basic guidelines:
- Stay on well lit streets in populated areas
- Plan to have a “buddy” or companion such as a close family member or trusted friend when traveling or shopping.
- Before leaving your home, tell a family member or close friend where you will be going and approximately what time you are expected to get home. Tell them what you are wearing.
- Always know where your children are at any given moment, and whom they are with.
- If you are planning to drink alcoholic beverages, watch carefully while your drink is being made, and always keep your drink with you at all times.
- Have a trusted person walk you to your vehicle whenever possible
- Never go jogging alone
- In the event you feel you are being followed while on foot, go directly to the nearest populated public place, do not attempt to get to your car, and do not go to your place of residence.
- If you think you are being followed while in your vehicle, drive to the nearest populated public place. You should also honk your horn and keep honking it until people arrive at the scene.
- Whenever approaching your vehicle always scan the surrounding area for people and vehicles that appear out of place.
- Always check your car and house doors prior to entry
- Always park your vehicle in a well-lit area and as close to the store you will be going to as possible.
- Hold your car keys tightly in your hand, between your thumb and index finger like its a knife with the key extending outward. This serves a twofold purpose, one is your are prepared to enter your vehicle quickly, and two, the key may be used as a weapon to target a vital area like the eyes, in the event you are assaulted.
- Stay off your cell phone well walking or driving to greatly increase situational awareness and present time consciousness
- Plan to have an emergency code that only you and your family and close friends know so that if you are able to get even a short call thru to a family member or close friend, it tells them you are in distress and they can then contact law enforcement on your behalf.