STRATEGIES TO REDUCE
STRANGER RAPE RISK
1. Don't ever hitchhike.
2. Trust your instincts when you sense danger.
If you feel someone is following you walk toward a lighted area or busy street.
Possibly confronting a potential assailant will throw him off and scare him
away. Don't walk directly home, as you could lead the attacker in with you.
3. Walk briskly and look alert. Body language
is important. Rapists are much more likely to attack a person who projects
a poor image like she is lost or does not know where she is going. Don't talk
4. Do avoid dangerous places. Get specific directions
somewhere at night. Consider using initials instead of first name (female especially) when placing reservations and phone listings. Travel with a friend when possible.
5. Do lock your apartment and residence hall
doors. Have keys
changed when moving into a new apartment. Deadbolt locks
that can only be locked from the inside are the best. Make
sure windows are also locked. When coming home have keys in
hand so the door can be opened quickly.
6. Close blinds and shades at night. Use a peep
hole and a lighted porch to see who is at the door, never a window.
7. Be aware of your environment. Be extra careful
when you are sick, tired, or have taken alcohol or drugs of any kind.
8. Keep one hand free when walking. You are more
vulnerable when your hands are full. If both hands are occupied do not be
afraid to drop something, even a purse --it is less important than your life.
9. Lock car doors. Take time to lock all doors
or get power locks. Keep the gas tank above empty so you do not have to stop
in unfriendly neighborhoods. Always look inside your car before getting in.
If your car breaks down light a flare and put up the hood (have blankets for winter season -if you must
run your heater, crack a window on the downwind side to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning). Should a motorist stop to assist, crack your window and have him call the police and wait for them to arrive.
10. Think through what action you would take
if confronted by a rapist. Consider specific situations like going to the
11. Do not open doors to strangers. 40% of students
said they opened doors to strangers. Ask for I.D. and have it slipped under
the door. Don't become too chatty with them. Be suspicious of casual male
friends knocking at your door.
12. Keep emergency numbers near the phone. Many
students do not do this. It might be tough to find a number in a phone book
while you're in trouble ? automatic dial is a good idea.
13. Know the location of public telephones on
routes to and from class. Know what places are open so you can go there or
to a phone if you ever need help.
14. Know how to use nonconventional weapons.
The earlier you make an aggressive response, the better the possibility of
* You are very likely to hurt your assailant ? HURT HIM!
* You must use your full strength ? no half?hearted attempts.
* Be careful with conventional weapons, they can often be used against you.
* Consider a self-defense course.
Noise -the only weapon you have that cannot be used against you. Practice yelling and don't be afraid to make a scene, its your body your protecting. A whistle is also good.
Stomp -on assailant's instep with heel.
Kick -to the shin or on the toe. Kicking to the groin can be effective but may be a way for the assailant to throw you off balance or to the ground.
Jab -in the solar?plexus with your umbrella, fist, or elbow.
Poke -the throat with fingers, thumb, or umbrella. Hit the Adam's apple. Tense fingers and jab the eyes.
Box -the ears or the temples.
Grab -the hair or wrench little finger and try to break it.
Slam -the heel of hand?under nose, pushing up at the same time.
Keys -scratch, poke', slice, and cut with a downward motion. It will also be a good way for authorities to identify suspects.
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO HURT ASSAILANT
15. Vary routes on campus. Rapists plan their
attacks around the
place where the victim is most vulnerable.
16. Attend a rape prevention seminar. Programs
are good to instruct
in self-defense ideas and the use of nonconventional weapons.
17. Be careful of student?professor relationships.
A professor does
not have the right to coerce sex for grades.
(Adapted from Avoiding Rape On and Off Campus
by Carol Pritchard)