Real rape prevention consists of teaching potential rapists to choose NOT to rape, rather than teaching potential victims how to avoid a rapistís choice. Focusing on potential victims implies their responsibility. Rape is the rapistís choice, not the victimís. No matter what someone does or does not do, rape is never the victimís fault. No one asks for it or deserves it.
Most prevention lists assume that the attacker is a stranger. In fact, 4 out of 5 rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. This list discusses what you can do to avoid rape by acquaintances as well as strangers.
Know Your Rights—You have the right to feel good about yourself, to control your own body, to initiate or to refuse sexual activity, to set limits on sexual activity, to say NO at any time, and to change your mind.
Trust Your Feelings—If you feel uncomfortable or your intuition tells you something is wrong, then trust that feeling or intuition and do whatever you need to do to feel safe again. Get out of the situation, no matter how foolish you think you may appear. Chances are your intuition is right, and if it's wrong, so what? Pay attention to your "little voice" and "vibes".
Stay Alert And Aware—Know where you are, where you are going, who is ahead of you and behind you. Briefly look others in the eye and let them know you know they are there. Pay attention to odd behavior.
Communicate Assertively—Know what you want. Tell people, in no uncertain terms, how you are feeling. When you say NO, mean it, and when you say yes, know what it is you are agreeing to. Walk confidently and purposefully, and even if you are lost, look like you know exactly where you are going.
Remain In Control—Stay sober. If you like to drink, drink in moderation. Pay for your own way on early dates so there are no unstated "obligations." Go only to places you know, always have a ride home and enough money for a cab or a phone call. Set up a buddy system with someone you know.
Take A Practical Self-Defense Class—You don't need a black belt in karate to defend yourself effectively. If you carry a weapon, be trained in its use and realize that it is often out of reach and could be used against you. Classes in punching and kicking can empower you. Many groups offer inexpensive classes periodically.