Part 2: Rape/Sexual Assault Prevention

While rape is *never* the victim's fault, here are a few things you can do to avoid a bad situation.

-Never get yourself in a position (drunk, high etc) where you are not in control of your actions. To prevent being drugged by someone else, keep an eye on your drinks and don't accept drinks from men you don't know or trust. If someone wants to buy you a drink, go up to the bar with him so you can see it being poured and carry it yourself. If you're at a party, avoid drinking from 'common containers' like the punchbowl. Frankly, I find that disgusting anyway. 

-When you go out to a bar or club, go with a group and stay together. A good 'Girls Night' is something we all need anyway!

-Trust your instincts. Take a self-defense class if it will make you feel more confident.

-Have your cell phone and cash with you at all times.

-If you take public transportation, stay in lighted stations and follow a schedule to avoid standing around waiting.

-Keep your car doors locked and your gas tank at least half full.

-Even though a large percentage of attacks involve someone the victim knows, you should never be alone with anyone you don't know well. You should stay within 'yelling distance' of other people. It's odd, but one thing I've heard is not to yell, 'rape' in a hallway. Yell 'fire' instead. A lot of people won't intervene in the first scenario because they don't want to get involved, but 'fire' is a guarantee that people will come out.  That will give you an opportunity to get away.

And, for what is probably the most important...
-Always, always, always be aware of your surroundings! Don't walk alone at night, stay in lighted areas and always watch where you're going. Being distracted by your phone or Blackberry lets down your guard and thus makes you more vulnerable to surprise attacks. Ditto being weighed down with a bunch of shopping bags or looking through your purse. Have your keys ready!

The vast majority of men out there are good, decent people. Even so, we need to be aware of the ones that aren't. Stay safe, ladies.

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