A Sexual Assault Occurs Every 2 Minutes
“Sexual Assault” can be defined as, “any sexual contact or act performed on another without permission. The elements may include use or threat of force, inability of victim to give proper consent or both.”
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), a sexual assault takes place every two (2) minutes in the United States. Each year there are over 212,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, and sexual assault in the United States. Nine (9) out of every ten (10) rape victims were female. But, 3% of American men, or 1 in 33, have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Approximately 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by a person known by the victim. In addition, 80% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 30.
Twenty (20) Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Sexual Assault:
- Enroll in self-defense classes: Taking the time to take self-defense classes could be your most valuable investment of time and money to obtain peace of mind.
- Carry a weapon: If the thought of a gun is offensive to you, obtain and carry with you pepper spray, mace, stun guns, or batons. If you choose to have a gun, be certain that you are familiar with it and its use and that you have the proper certification or licensure for its use.
- Travel in groups: Remember the old adage….do not swim alone! Have a buddy with you! The same principle applies with preventing or avoiding sexual assault. You are more vulnerable when alone than when you are with another or a group of persons.
- Never leave a drink alone: Keep your drink in your hand. Do not leave your drink unattended if you have to use the restroom. Doing so puts you at risk that someone will add a drug/medication to your drink rendering you unable to make good decisions or unable to resist sexual assault.
- Never accept drinks from strangers: As tempting as a free drink might be, resist the urge to accept the “gift” as the giver may have an ulterior motive. He or she might try to add drugs to your drink to render you in an impaired status.
- Don’t give in to pressure: A person who truly loves you and respects you is not going to pressure you into having unwanted sexual relations. If you are feeling such pressure, disengage and re-evaluate the relationship.
- Be confident: Sexual assailants and rapists tend to select their victims based upon perceived weakness and inferiority of the intended victim(s). Project an air of confidence and purpose in your daily interactions.
- Remain aware of surroundings: You must always stay and remain alert of your surroundings and what is happening around you. Always report any suspicious activity to the police.
- Try to avoid remote locations: You shall be safer in busier and more active places than in isolated locations. You want persons to be around you in the event of trauma and in the event you need to cry out for help.
- Don’t accept rides from strangers: Keep cash on hand for taxi rides. Keep family members advised of your schedule.
- Don’t get weighted down: Don’t have your hands so full of packages or equipment that you are unable to respond to a definite threat to your well-being.
- Keep the phone charged: If you need to call the police or #911, you must be sure that your cell phone is always fully charged.
- Never feel obligated or guilty: Going on a date or having a dinner with a date does not mean that one is obligated to have sex thereafter.
- Go with a “buddy” system at parties: Individuals partner in watching and observing other friends/guests at the occasion.
- Moderate alcohol consumption: If one permits oneself to become impaired (too much alcohol), that person is more likely to become a victim of sexual assault.
- Go on group dates: This arrangement provides protection from the group until the individuals decide if they have a “go” relationship or a “no go” relationship with one another.
- Report suspicious figures: Report problems in the workplace to the Human Relations Department or your employer.
- Don’t go home if followed: When being followed by a stranger either on foot or in a car, do not let the stranger know where your home is. Instead, head for the nearest safe area and phone for help. A safe area could be a police station, a security guard station, a public and well-lighted place with persons present.
- Bystander intervention: If you are frightened and believe your safety is at risk, reach out to others, scream, or call for assistance.
- Educate the world: Sexual assault and rape are unfortunately present in every nation of the world, no matter how “civilized” they think themselves to be. Education remains the most effective method to prevent both atrocities from occurring. Volunteer to work for organizations/agencies committed to preventing sexual assault and with assisting victims of sexual assault. In Montgomery County, Ohio, volunteers could find positions with Artemis House, the Victim-Witness Program, and other community groups.
I want to acknowledge the following website for authoring these 20 tips: http://www.nursingdegree.net/blog/806/20-ways-to-lessen-your-risk-of-sexual-assault/
Unfortunately, approximately 60% of sexual assaults in the United States are not even reported to the police. If you have been a victim of a sexual assault, be sure to report it to the appropriate authorities, and reach out to others for assistance in coping with the physical and/or emotional trauma sustained. If you live in the Dayton, Ohio, area we have attorneys to advise you about your rights, and we have contacts with psychologists and other health care professionals to help you with healing! Don’t try to go it alone!
If you would like a consultation with the writer of this Blog, Robert L. Mues, would like a referral to a psychologist or health care professional, or have experienced a sexual assault, please click here.
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Robert L. Mues
Robert Mues is the managing partner of Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, and has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Mr. Mues is also a founding member of the "International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce over 50" blog.