Sexual assault is far too prevalent. Women are attacked every minute of every day. It is important to remember that sexual assaults are not limited to certain types of women, and women do not “invite” assault through their looks or behavior. Women from all walks of life are at risk. Regardless of what a woman looks like or how she behaves, nobody invites an attack. Maintaining your personal safety is crucial. You don’t have to be helpless, however, there are things you can do to protect yourself and avoid being a victim of sexual assault. Here are five ways that you can help prevent being attacked.
- Always tell someone where you are going, who you will be with, and when you will be expected to return. This is especially important for women who live alone. There’s nothing wrong with going on a blind date or to a party with new friends—just make sure that someone you trust is checking in on you to make sure you arrived safely home. Many women enjoy jogging in the part. While this is a fabulous way to get fit, be sure that someone knows where you are at all times.
- Be extremely vigilant at all times. Most attacks occur when women are not paying careful attention to their surroundings and are distracted. When shopping, park in a well-lit area. Upon returning to your car, take a look to see if anyone is in the vehicle or nearby. When you get into the car, don’t spend time rummaging through your purse, checking your voice mails or doing other things when the doors are unlocked. This is a common time for an attacker to make his move.
- If at a party or nightclub, never leave your drink unattended. Date rape drugs can easily be added to your drink without your knowledge, and by the time you realize that you have been drugged, you will be extremely vulnerable.
- Carry a non-lethal self defense weapon, such as pepper spray or a stun gun. Either of these personal protection items can be purchased easily, and many are disguised to look like other common items (e.g., cell phones, lipstick cases, pens, rings, etc.). Keep your weapon handy anytime you are alone or in a potentially dangerous situation.
- Carry a cell phone with you in case of emergency. Nearly everyone has a cell phone nowadays, and keeping it handy when walking alone means you can more readily call for emergency help without having to rummage through your purse or pockets.
Avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault by being prepared and by being aware of your surroundings at all time. Never be afraid to ask for a security escort to your car. Never be worried about being rude when you remove yourself from an uncomfortable situation, either. It is far better to refuse the offer of a drink from a handsome stranger than to become a victim of sexual assault. It is better to be distrustful and remove yourself from a situation then have to regret not doing so later.