The person who commits an act of sexual assault is venting his hostility, aggression, frustration or insecurity. Victims are women of all ages. The key factors that cause females of all ages to become potential victims are vulnerability and opportunity. There are no absolute ways to prevent rape/sexual assault, however, the following precautions can lessen the likelihood of it occurring.
PRECAUTIONS AT HOME
- When you move into a new home or apartment, change the locks.
- Use a deadbolt lock on your doors. Secure windows so that they can’t be opened more than five inches from the outside.
- Keep the shades or drapes drawn after dark and turn on outside lights.
- Don’t open the door to anyone you don’t know.
- Avoid listing your first name in the telephone book or writing it on your mailbox.
PRECAUTIONS AWAY FROM HOME
- In an elevator, stand near the control buttons and avoid riding alone with a stranger.
- When walking on the street, walk with a purpose. Know where you’re going, or act as if you do. Stay alert to possible dangers. Avoid walking down dark alleys, close to doorways or past untrustworthy looking people.
- When walking to your car, have your keys in your hand. Look into the back seat as you open your car door to see if anyone is hiding in the car. Then quickly get into the car and lock the door immediately.
- Keep your car well maintained and full of gas to avoid getting stranded.
- If you have car trouble, stay in your car with the windows up and the car locked. Turn on your emergency flashers and wait for police to arrive. If someone approaches your car, crack the window to ask for help. Don’t let the person into your car.
- Don’t hitchhike and never pick up hitchhikers.
- If you suspect you’re being followed, go into a public building and get help or call the police.
- When you’re driving and you suspect someone is following you, don’t go home. Instead drive to the nearest police station.
- Don’t enter your house or car if you suspect that it has been broken into or tampered with. Call the police from the nearest available telephone.