Protecting Yourself From Sexual Assault - 5 Tips That Could Save Your Life

YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY 

A Hollywood film producer, a television and comedy star, and even a Supreme Court nominee -- all involved in high-profile sexual assault cases. Thousands of other cases never get this kind of attention, yet every one has the potential to be a life-altering event. 

Sexual assault is an umbrella term that includes several different sexual contacts or behaviors that happen without consent of the victim. These include unwanted sexual touching, rape, attempted rape, or forcing a victim to perform sexual acts. Sexual contact without consent is sexual assault. A tough subject, but a subject we should all be informed and educated about. Find out what you can do to protect yourself from sexual assault. Knowledge empowers, and knowing all you can is important. 

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

Good self defense advice almost always includes trusting your gut. (Before) If your gut is telling you that you should not be alone with someone, leave. Period. If you feel the party you are attending is getting out of control, get out. If you are starting to feel uneasy about how someone is looking at you or saying something to you, remove yourself from the situation and call a friend.

BE PREPARED 

Before you go out make sure you have a fully-charged phone, tell someone about your plans, and set a deadline for when you want to get back home.

BE CAUTIOUS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

More than 60 percent of attackers are known by the victims. Be realistic. If you post about your plans, those that you know will most likely see where you'll be.

TRAVEL WITH A PLAN

If you do have to walk alone, the key word is "Keep."

Keep your eyes scanning. Stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings.

Keep your ears free for listening. That means ditch the headphones.

Keep your feet moving. Walk with purpose and confidence

Keep to areas where you see other people. 

Now that most businesses have re-opened, business travel is on the rise. If you'll be staying in an unfamiliar city, always travel with a plan.

  • Research where you are going and find out where most assaults happen
  • If you can, travel with a trusted colleague
  • If you are a woman, ask if your hotel offers women-only floors.
  • Ask if you can be seated with other guests in the hotel dining room or in restaurants to avoid being targeted as a woman traveling alone.
  • When you leave your room, always lock the door and make sure it closes all the way
  • Use the deadbolt and the chain on the door
  • Never open the door unless you know who it is
  • If you like to exercise outside, be sure to ask the hotel to recommend a safe area

DON'T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN AT HOME

Most of us feel safe at home, but you still need to be cautious. Make sure all windows and doors in your home can be locked securely, especially sliding glass doors. Use outdoor lighting. Empower yourself, take safety precautions at home.

If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or a garage by yourself, especially at night.

Don't open the door to your home to anyone you don't know. 

If you have been sexually assaulted, it is not your fault. No matter what you did or didn't do, the choice was the decision of the person who violated you. 

Another informational story from Mace® BrandHow the Ministry of Hope Helps with Human Trafficking Defense (mace.com)

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At-risk womenHome safetyMace brandPersonal safetySexual assault

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