Protecting yourself against rape
Of all the things that women have to protect themselves against,
rape seems to top the list for almost
every woman. Rape is not just a physical assault or even simply
a sex crime as most people seem to think, but it is a heinous
act of violence that often leaves emotional
scars that are very difficult to get rid of. Most victims of rape
find it difficult to have normal sexual relationships
with others, and often find themselves unable to trust people.
According to statistics, a rape occurs every two minutes in the
United States. A staggering 33% of women are likely to be raped
at least once in their lives and what is the most shocking part
is that in excess of 80% of these rapes will be committed by someone
the woman knew. Thus, in such a bleak scenario as far as sexual
assault and rape are concerned, every woman should know how to
protect herself against this heinous crime. Here are some precautions
you can take to ensure that you do not become another rape statistic.
Ways to protect yourself from rape
Being armed does not imply that you must carry a gun or a pistol
with you. Instead, other safety devices and products that can
be as effective as but less deadly than a gun. Mace cans, pepper
spray, or even a small folding knife can be extremely effective
to deter a potential rapist. These safety products are much easier
to procure than a weapon and can be equally handy.
In situations where you are under the threat of rape, you might
find yourself in shock or without proper hand-eye coordination.
In such situations, a can of pepper foam or mace may in fact be
more useful than a regular gun.
In addition to being very effective, safety products are quite
cheap too. They are designed in a manner (you can even get lipstick
pepper sprays that look like a lipstick) so as to fit in even
the smallest of purses: you can always have something handy with
which to protect yourself. A great place to get the lipstick pepper
spray, as well as numerous other products and devices for self-protection,
Be cautious when outdoors
When you are away from home, it is important to be aware of what
is going on around you and to be alert. Here are some tactics
to use when outdoors.
- Rapists generally tend to attack women who appear to be walking
along aimlessly or who do not seem very active. Thus, by being
confident and walking erect and purposefully, you can deter
- If you are walking on the streets, make sure to stay away
from narrow alleys or dark streets. Never ever take a shortcut
through a rough neighborhood or through deserted paths and always
stay on the main street.
- Do not walk by yourself after dark. Take a cab home or ask
a friend to pick you up. If you must walk, make sure you walk
quickly and take a route that is not deserted. Keeping your
can of mace or pepper spray in your hand is also a good idea.
- Do not get into an elevator alone with someone you do not
know. If you do find yourself alone with a stranger, stay near
the exit doors of the elevator and within reach of the control
- Always know exactly where you are. In case you do find yourself
in trouble and have to call for help, you need to know your
exact location. A 911 dispatcher will also ask you your location
first, so know which area and street you are on.
- A large number of women get attacked when getting into their
cars. Approach your vehicle with your keys in hand. This will
save you from having to fumbling for the key. Get into your
car as soon as you open it and drive away. As you approach your
vehicle, check between parked cars and under your own vehicle;
look through the window into your back seat. Assailants may
sometimes take advantage of these hiding places before taking
their victims completely by surprise. You may wish to attach
a small flashlight to your keychain.
Safety at home
The number of women who are raped in their homes is shocking.
Here is what you can do to safeguard yourself when at home.
- The area outside your main entrance should be properly lit
so there are no dark shadows in which a potential rapist can
hide. You can also purchase a motion sensor that will turn on
your outdoor light(s) when movement is detected within a certain
distance of your home. These devices are often a good deterrent
to thieves as well as rapists.
- Ensure that your main door has a peephole to allow you to
see callers before opening your door. If a stranger is at your
door, enquire why he are there and open the door only if you
are completely satisfied with his answer.
- Keep your curtains drawn as far as possible so that people
cannot look into your home, especially after nightfall.
- If you are not expecting any deliveries or any utility service
people, do not open the door to such people. If you must, ensure
that the safety chain is in place. If unsure as to a caller's
purpose or identity (e.g., an enumerator, repairman, canvasser,
technician, or meter reader), ask to see his employee identification
card or badge. If you are still unsure, you can have him wait
outside while you call his company and verify his identity.
- Always keep your doors locked. Even if you live in an extremely
safe neighborhood, you should never leave your gates unlocked
even for a few minutes. Many women make the mistake of thinking
that a rapist would never dare to enter their home because their
area is so well guarded. That could turn out to be a costly
mistake. Thus, keep your doors and windows bolted. This includes
during short trips to the garage or to the communal mailbox,
laundry room, or garbage room/chute.
At a party
There is an alarming increase in the number of date
rapes and sexual assaults at social gatherings. To protect
yourself when on a date, make sure you do not accept drinks from
anyone you don’t know. Even if you do know the person, it
is best to get your own drink or have the bartender or waiter
serve you directly. If you have left your drink unattended for
even half a minute, do not take a sip from that drink again.
Date rape drugs can be mixed into drinks
in the blink of an eye and make you the target for date rape.
Thus, by being alert to what’s happening around you and
by being extremely cautious about what you eat and drink, you
can avoid becoming a victim of date rape.
Even though these safety tips may not entirely protect you against
rape, at least you will have greatly minimized your chances of
becoming a rape victim. Taking some physical defense classes and
always carrying safety products such as pepper foam, knives, or
mace cans are the best ways of protect ing yourself from rape.
After all, you have to take matters into your own hands. If you
wait for someone to help you, it could turn out to be too late.