Preventing Sexual Assault / Rape - Campus Police Services / Safety and Security
Knowing the facts about rape…
- Rape is a violent crime - a hostile attack - an attempt to hurt and humiliate. It is NOT the result of "uncontrolled passions."
- Rape can happen to anyone. Children, grandmothers, students, working women, wives, mothers, and even males are the victims of rape.
- Rape can occur anywhere and at anytime in public or in your own home, day or night.
- Rapists are not necessarily strangers. In fact, in over one third of reported cases, the rapist is an acquaintance, neighbor, friend, or relative of the victim.
- First, know the facts about rape. Become aware of locations and situations where rape might occur, and avoid them.
- Consider your alternatives if confronted by a rapist. Practice possible responses so that you can recall them even under the stress of a real encounter.
- Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you - especially if you are alone or it is dark.
- When possible, travel with a friend.
- Stay in well-lit areas as much as possible.
- Walk confidently, directly, at a steady pace. A rapist looks for someone who appears vulnerable.
- Walk on the side of the street facing traffic.
- Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where rapist can hide.
- If you think you are being followed, walk quickly to areas where there are lights and people. If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk in the opposite direction, or walk on the other side of the street.
- If in danger - scream and run, or yell fire, or break a window to attract attention.
- Many rapes occur in or near the victim's home. One of the best ways to prevent sexual assault is to practice good home security.
- Install effective locks on all doors and windows - and use them.
- Install a peephole viewer in your door. NEVER open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Require salespersons or repairmen to show identification.
- If strangers telephone or come to your door, don't admit that you are alone.
- If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or garage by yourself, especially at night.
- If you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry, don't go in. Go to the nearest phone and call the police.
- Always lock car doors after entering or leaving your car.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Have your car keys in your hand so that you don't have to linger before entering your car. Keys can also serve as a possible weapon against an attacker.
- Check the back seat before entering your car.
- If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place or a police station.
- If your car breaks down, open the hood and attach a white cloth to the car antenna. If someone stops to help, stay in your locked car and ask them to call the police or a garage.
Remember your main concern must always be your safety. No one can tell you whether you should fight back, submit, or resist. IT DEPENDS ON YOU AND THE SITUATION. However, your best defense is to be prepared - know your options ahead of time. Your safety may depend upon your ability to stay cool and calm.
Carrying weapons for self-defense is controversial and sometimes illegal. Be safe - for more information, contact your local law enforcement agency.
If you are a victim of a rape…
- Get help quickly. Call the police, sheriff, a rape crisis center, doctor, friend, or relative.
- Do NOT wash, douche, change clothes or clean up in any way until after talking to the police and going to the hospital. (You could destroy valuable evidence.)
- Remember you are the victim. You have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about.
To learn more about sexual assault and how to prevent, contact your local law enforcement agency, rape crisis center, or write to:
Crime Prevention Center
Office of the Attorney General
1515 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95814