Because sexual assault is an act of aggression, power and anger, soneone who is sexually violent tends to
behave in ways that are intended to control others. Often they do things to "test" someone, to see how much they can get away
with. Not everyone exhibits these behaviors is a rapist, but, if you know someone who acts in these ways, you may want to use
caution or aviod that person.
Signs to Remember
- Not listening to what the person says; not stopping when asked to stop.
- Talking about or looking at the person's body in a way that makes her or him uncomfortable.
- Calling someone names.
- Blocking someone's path or following her or him.
- Touching someone in intimate places without permission.
- Trying to get someone drunk or giving drugs.
- Not respecting a date's feelings and limits.
- Not stopping sexual foreplay when told or asked to stop.
- Seeming to enjoy someone's discomfort.
- Acting as though a relationship is more intimate than it really is.
- Being disrespectful of women; treating women as sexual objects.
- Making comments or jokes about women that are degrading.
- Focusing only on women's bodies; not treating women as people.
Sexual assault is never the victim's fault, and not every assault can be prevented. There are, however a few
things you can do to reduce your risk of being sexually assaulted.
When going out:
- trust your instincts.
- meet at a public place; double-date with friends you know well and trust.
- bring enough money for a phone call or to take a cab.
- leave if you feel uncomfortable.
- learn to recognize intrusive behaviors; be assertive or leave when faced with them.
- be aware of the effects of alcohol or other drugs.
- don't accept beverages from anyone you don't know well and trust; keep your eye on your drink; don't accept open containers
or drinks served from a punch bowl.
- check underneath and inside your car before entering.
- keep your gas tank filled.
- keep car doors locked at all times.
- if followed, go to a police station or public place.
- stand while waiting for the bus, especially at night; stay alert.
- don't feel you have to talk to strangers while waiting for public transportation.
- be alert; notice who gets off at your stop.
- keep emergency money for phone calls or carry a cell phone.
Safety at home:
- keep your doors and windows locked.
- don't open the door to strangers.
- don't list your address in the phone book.
- don't list your first name on your apartment door or mailbox-- or list several names.
- ask for the ID of any service person or "official" who requests entry to your home, or look up the telephone number yourself
to call the agency they claim to come from for verification.
- list at least one male name on your answering machine.
In addition to these suggestions, it can also be helpful to learn self-defense techniques, such as karate or
judo. Some feel that having a weapon will make them safer. However, this may not be the best option for everyone, since a weapon
can be taken away and used against you. If you do choose to carry a weapon, make sure you are properly trained in its use.