RISK REDUCTION TIPS FOR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
With no intent to victim blame and recognizing that only
abusers are responsible for their abuse, the following are some strategies to
reduce one’s risk of sexual assault or harassment (taken from Rape, Abuse,
& Incest National Network, www.rainn.org)
- If you have limits, make
them known before things go too far.
- Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and loudly, like you mean
- Try to extricate yourself
from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
- Grab someone nearby and
ask for help.
- Be responsible for your
alcohol intake/drug use and realize that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual
inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or
high person as a sexual opportunity.
- Be aware of incapacitating drugs like Rohypnol and GHB. See
the detailed information below or go to www.911rape.org.
- Be aware of your
surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to
find a way to get out of a bad situation.
- Try to avoid isolated
areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
- Walk with purpose.
Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
- Trust your instincts.
If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably
isn’t the best place to be.
- Try not to load
yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more
- Make sure your cell
phone is with you and charged and that you have cab money.
- Don't allow yourself to
be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.
- Avoid putting music
headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your
surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
- When you go to a social
gathering, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with
each other throughout the evening, and leave together. Knowing where you
are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad
- Trust your instincts.
If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut. If you see something
suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be
reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.).
- Don't leave your drink
unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a
phone call. If you’ve left your drink alone, just get a new one.
- Don't accept drinks
from people you don't know or trust. If you choose to accept a drink,
go with the person to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and
carry it yourself. At parties, don’t drink from the punch bowls or other
large, common open containers.
- Watch out for your
friends, and vice versa. If a friend seems out of it, is way too
intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they’ve had, or is acting out of
character, get him or her to a safe place immediately. A real friend will
get in your face if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them if they do.
- If you suspect you or a
friend has been drugged, contact law enforcement immediately (local
authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.).
Be explicit with doctors so they can give you the correct tests (you will
need a urine test and possibly others).
- If you need to get out of
an uncomfortable or scary situation here are some things that you can try:
- Try to think of an
escape route. How would you try to get out of the room? Where are the
doors? Windows? Are there people around who might be able to help you? Is
there an emergency phone nearby?
- If you and/or the other
person have been drinking, you can say that you would rather wait
until you both have your full judgment before doing anything you may