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Violence against women

Sexual assault
Learn about rape trauma syndrome, date rape, and the impact of rape on relationships

Domestic violence
Learn why it happens and how to get help.

Child sexual abuse/incest
Learn how to spot child sexual abuse and how to report it.

Sexual assault

How to avoid and prevent date rape

The crime of date rape is becoming more and more prevalent. Fortunately, extensive media coverage of this crime and so-called date rape drugs have made women more vigilant and aware of this potential threat. Still, despite increased awareness, the number of these incidents continues to climb.

Parties, bars, and nightclubs are prime breeding grounds for acts of violence, assault, and rape. With this in mind, these simple safety tips are important to keep in mind and pass along.

  • Always get your own drink and watch it being poured.
  • Never leave your drink unattended. If you need to use the restroom and can't take your drink with you, leave it with a trusted friend—not a new date!
  • If your drink tastes funny, do not drink it. Dispose of it to keep others from dinking it.
  • Keep in mind that most drugs used to spike a drink are colorless and tasteless; therefore, keeping your drink within sight is paramount.
  • Be aware of how your friends are acting. If they seem more "out of it" than usual, be very wary and keep an eye out for them.

When it's time to leave, you may have met someone you are interested in. Ask yourself if you really trust this person. Can you be sure he/she won't make you do anything you don't want to do? Are you confident this person will take no for an answer? If you've asked yourself these questions and still want to leave with him/her, be sure to introduce him/her to friends and let your friends know you are leaving with him/her.

So you've left with this person and you're now in a new location. You could be in a car, in your home, at his/her home, at the beach, or at some other secluded spot. You could even be a consenting participant in a heavy "make out" session. But things are moving too fast, the person's making you uncomfortable, or you've just simply changed your mind. At no point is it ever too late to say no. Say it firmly and repeat it more loudly if you need to.

Hopefully, you were right when you asked yourself if you could trust this person and that he/she wouldn't make you do anything you didn't want to do, and that he/she'd take nofor an answer. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, it's possible that you may find yourself with someone who has fooled you horribly and isn't going to take no for an answer. This is not your fault. However, you do need to act to ensure your safety. If screaming for help or fleeing is not a viable option, you need to defend yourself.

I could discuss many self-defense tactics or possible weapons, but for this particular topic, I'd like to tell you about one particular item that can be perfect for a situation where date rape seems imminent. It's a pepper spray disguised as a lipstick. A potential attacker is likely to drop his/her guard if you switch gears from resisting to saying you'd like to freshen your lipstick. His/her posture will relax when he/she sees you reach into your purse and come out with nothing but the aforementioned lipstick. But, the attractive case he/she sees packs a potent pepper spray. It holds 20 half-second sprays, each with a range of 10 feet. While your potential attacker is temporarily blinded and in excruciating pain, you have given yourself ample time to escape and go for help.

About the Author:
Kelly Moran, of KW Security & Surveillance, has written numerous articles on personal safety, potential threats, and self-defence. Visit www.kwsurveillance.com for a wide selection of stun guns, pepper spray, personal alarms, resources, how-to manuals, and DVDs designed for your personal protection.

Sexual assault

Web resources

These are third-party resources and links will open a new browser window. As these are third-party resources, Women's Web claims no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided.

Men Can Stop Rape
Men Can Stop rape mobilizes male youth to prevent men's violence against women. It does this by building males' capacity to challenge harmful aspects of traditional masculinity, to value alternative visions of male strength, and to embrace their vital role as allies with women and girls in fostering healthy relationships and gender equity.

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