The majority of sexual assault perpetrators are not strangers -- they are people you may be acquainted with such as neighbors, co-workers, or someone you are romantically involved with.
Educating yourself about the warning signs and what to do if you are attacked will help you minimize your risk factors.
Tips for Safeguarding Yourself
- Plan your route and avoid shortcuts through vacant lots, alleys, or parks.
- Walk in well-lit areas and do not walk alone.
- Don't go to isolated areas such as laundry rooms and basements alone.
- Have your key ready before you approach your vehicle or home.
- Look inside your car before you get in. Get into your vehicle quickly and lock the door first -- even before you put your seat belt on.
- Be aware of your surroundings and people around you.
- If you think you are being followed, do not go home. Change directions and look for open stores, restaurants or a police or fire station.
- If you return home and find that your doors or windows have been tampered with, do not go inside -- go to a neighbor's or friend's house and call the police.
- Never allow strangers to use your telephone. Offer to make the call instead while they wait outside. Keep your door locked while making the call.
What to do if You are Attacked
- Try to escape. Scream, yell, fight, kick and run. Scream the word "fire" as it has been shown to grab the attention of onlookers more quickly.
- Talk to stall for time and assess the situation.
- If your attacker has a weapon, do whatever it takes to stay alive.
- If your attacker tries to move you to another location, do whatever it takes to prevent going.
- If you are assaulted preserving all physical evidence will help law enforcement authorities catch the perpetrator. Do not shower, bathe, change clothes or throw anything you were wearing away.
- Report rape or sexual assault immediately to Public Safety at 280-2911. Trained officers will respond and assist you immediately.
Make a plan and trust your instincts
- No means no. Be clear about your sexual boundaries.
- Do not use drugs or alcohol. They decrease your ability to take care of yourself and make decisions that are right for you. Remember the three second rule about a drink -- no matter what you are drinking, do not let it out of your sight for more than three seconds. Do not accept a drink from someone you don't know and trust. It's always best to get your own drink.
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right to you, leave. Make sure you have money for transportation or have a ride home.
- Meet a first date or blind date in a public place. Drive yourself or have a friend drive you and agree to pick you up.
- Leave social events with your friends -- not with someone you just met.
This resource is provided by Creighton's CU SAFE effort!