While a woman should not be blamed in the event that she is raped—after all, how can someone be blamed for the decisions of someone else—we must be aware that there are precautions we can take that can keep us from falling prey to someone else’s impulses. Following the below recommendations doesn’t mean that you won’t be raped, but it can seriously decrease the possibility of you arriving in a situation in which you have no control.
The following list is adapted from MedicineNet.com and The National Women’s Health Information Center U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (www.womenshealth.gov).
• Be aware of your surroundings—who’s around you and what’s happening.
• Walk with confidence—rapists and attackers are looking for those people who are unaware of their surroundings and appear weak.
• Do not consume so much alcohol or drugs that your judgment becomes impaired.
• Be assertive about protecting your personal space.
• Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.
• Watch your keys. Don’t give them to anyone. Don’t leave them anywhere. And don’t have any identification information (name or address) on the key ring.
• Make sure you know who’s on the other side of the door before you open it.
• Be particularly on guard if walking through underground parking garages and apartment laundry rooms.
• Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Don’t run or walk the same route every night and stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
• Have your keys out and ready to use before you reach the door. If you have a remote door opener for your car, make sure you unlock the doors before you get there, it will save you the vulnerability of having to stop and insert the key to open your door.
• Don’t accept drinks from other people.
• Open cans and bottles yourself.
• Keep your drink with you at all times.
• Don’t share drinks.
• If someone offers to get you a drink from a bar or at a party, go with them and watch the drink being poured and carry it yourself.
• Don’t drink anything that tastes or smells strange.
• Have a non-drinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens.