It is a terror no woman or man (yes!- man) is immune from, no matter what his or her age or what he or she is wearing. (Recently in the news an 88-year-old grandmother and a 6-month-old baby were raped on the same summer night.) But the most neglected aspect of rape is: Rape is not a sexual crime. Rape is a crime of violence, like a mugging or battery, and has its roots not in lust or uncontrollable passion, but in hostility and hatred of women.
Rape is intended as a humiliation, a way of asserting supremacy over a woman. In order to insure control, the rapist usually plans the act carefully, “staking out” his chosen victim to determine at what point during her day she is most vulnerable to attack.
How do you protect yourself against being raped? In all cases a little common sense will work. One shouldn’t go anyplace by oneself. (Heard that before?) Always find someone to go with you, it’s a great way to get to know people. Avoid badly lighted streets or alleys, or streets that are often deserted. If they can’t be avoided, walk down the middle of the street or out of the way of shadows and hiding places.
Wear clothes that allow you freedom of movement. If you wear platform shoes, you’re much less likely to be able to run out of harm’s way – unless, of course, your attacker is also wearing platform shoes.
Carry a whistle (there are some very elegant silver ones available), and practice giving a good, loud scream. Often if you can make a loud noise at the beginning of an attack, the rapist will turn and run. He’s got a game plan in mind (most rapes have been thought out ahead of time), and a sudden noise will throw off his concentration.
If you scream don’t scream “Rape” scream “Fire!” You’ll find people a lot more willing to help if something threatens their own security.
Learn the most basic karate or ju-jitsu holds; a quick jab in the eyes or abdomen or groin has decked many an unwary attacker.
If you think you’re being followed, head for well-lighted places, a police station a neighborhood bar, anything, but don’t head for home, or small enclosed spots like your lobby. If a strange man gets into an elevator with you, don’t be embarrassed to get off and let him go on alone.
The main thing to remember is: Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable situation. If you find yourself in a rape situation, use your common sense and the ability to scream – - loudly.
Stay Calm Get Description
What did he look like? According to police, that’s the first thing they will want to know if you have had a crime committed against you.
Difficult as it may be, it is important that you remain as calm as you can during a crime. You will then be better able to observe the person or persons involved more thoroughly and then provide a more complete description. Besides it is a protective device for you. The calmer you are, the less chance there is for the criminal to become excited and dangerous. In getting a description, be systematic. Look from head to foot, examining and mentally noting as many detail about the person as you can. As for height, weight and age, compare him or her with yourself or someone you know… either he is smaller, heavier, older, etc.
Don’t trust your memory too long; it can deceive you. As soon as you give the alarm to the police, jot down all the information about the person that you can. Be sure to include everything… every detail, no mater how small it may seem, is important.