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Sexual assault prevention, safety planning tips

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:35:55 AM CST
Updated On: Jun 19 2014 07:49:06 PM CDT

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network provides the following sexual assault prevention and safety planning tips. This is only a portion of the tips. For all tips, please visit http://bit.ly/14Q7QeH

Traveling Safety:

Walking

  • Make sure your cell phone (if you have one) is easily accessible
  • Keep some change accessible just in case you need to use a pay phone
  • Take major, public streets and paths rather than less populated shortcuts
  • Avoid dimly lit places and talk to authorities if lights need to be installed in an area
  • Avoid walking alone whenever possible
  • Carry a small noisemaker (like a whistle) and/or flashlight on your keychain
  • Remain mentally alert and aware of your surroundings
  • Plan your route and know what "safe" places are on it (police stations, hospitals, etc.)


Driving

  • Keep your doors locked
  • Have extra car necessities (oil, jumper cables, etc.)
  • Try not to wait until the last minute to fill your gas tank; always keep it at least half full if you can
  • Have your keys ready when you go to unlock your car
  • Plan your route and know what "safe" places are on it (police stations, hospitals, etc.)


Taking the bus or subway

  • Be alert at bus or subway stops when waiting for them to arrive
  • Use the bus or subway schedule to avoid waiting for a long time at a stop
  • Plan your route to use the busiest, best-lighted stop possible
  • If someone is bothering you on the bus or subway, tell the driver or use the emergency signal
  • If you feel uneasy about getting off at your usual stop, stay on until the next stop or wait until the safest stop


Home Safety:

  • Change the locks on doors and windows
  • Keep house doors locked, even when you are at home
  • Install a security system
  • Install outside lighting system (with motion detectors)
  • Do not prop doors or windows
  • Close blinds/curtains at night
  • Keep car doors locked, even in your own driveway or garage


Tips to Remember

    Keep change/cash with you at all times

  • Memorize all important numbers/have important numbers easily accessible on your cell phone (if you have one)
  • Establish a code word so that family, friends, etc. know when to call for help
  • Have a backup plan in case the first fails
  • Be aware of your daily routine and try to alter it sometimes, if possible
  • Keep in contact with people/organizations who are helping you
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened, leave the situation and go to a safe place

If you have been sexually assaulted there are some additional steps you can take to help feel safer:

How to anticipate and respond to perpetrator’s actions

Be conscious of places the perpetrator frequents (work schedule, class schedule, where s/he likes to eat, what club meetings s/he has, what sports practices s/he has, etc.)
Know which people the perpetrator usually hangs out with and what social events s/he likes to attend
Plan what you would say and do if you came into contact with him or her

General tips

Use the resources that your campus offers (sexual assault services, psychological services, health services, campus police force, escort service, etc.)
If you are concerned about anonymity, use any resources that the neighboring community provides
Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened, leave the situation and go to a safe place

Finally…

Remember: it is not your fault.

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