The Facts About Sexual Assault
- Sexual assault can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time!
- The typical stereotype of a sexual assault suspect is a sex-crazed
maniac or psychopath. In reality, people who sexually assault are not
always strangers to their victims. In more than one-third of
reported cases, the rapist is an acquaintance, neighbor, friend or
- Although sexual conduct is a component of this crime, suspects
mainly want to hurt, humiliate and degrade another human being.
Regardless of the sexual nature of the crime, it is a crime of
How can it happen?
|"When the salesman knocked on the door, I let him in. He was
friendly at first, then all of a sudden he grabbed me."
|"I was downstairs in the laundry room of our apartment
building. I had been there alone many times before, but this time...."
|"I was walking to work in broad daylight. A car stopped next to
me. The driver leaned over and asked for directions. When I got close
to the car, he pulled out a gun and told me to get in."
These simple examples show that the tragedy of sexual assault can
strike anyone, anywhere, at anytime.
What Should You Do To Prevent Sexual Assault?
|Always be aware of your surroundings.
|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
rapists can hide.
|If you think you are being followed, walk quickly to areas where
there are people and lights. If a car appears to be following you,
turn and walk in the opposite direction or walk on the other side of
|Be careful when people stop you for directions or money. Always
reply from a distance and never get too close to the car.
|If you are in trouble or feel you are in danger, don't be afraid to
attract help any way you can. Scream, yell or run away to safety.
|Always lock your car. Keep your car locked when you are away from it
to keep someone from hiding and waiting inside. When you are inside
the car, lock the doors for safety.
|Look inside and around your car before you get in.
|Be aware of other people in parking areas, especially those close to
|If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place or a
police station to get help.
|If your car breaks down, open the hood or attach a white cloth to
the antenna. If someone stops to help, stay inside your locked vehicle
and ask them to call the police.
|If you choose to carry any type of weapon for self-protection, give
careful consideration to your ability and willingness to use it.
Remember there is always the chance that it could be taken away and
used against you.|
What Should You Do If You're a Victim?
Seek help immediately! If you are injured, call 9-1-1 for medical
assistance or go to a hospital emergency room. An important thing to
remember is that you should not touch anything, change your clothes,
wash, bathe, shower or douche until you have been to the hospital and
contacted the police. Doing any of these things will destroy valuable
evidence that is needed by the police and the prosecutor to identify,
arrest and convict your attacker.
The emotional impact of a sexual assault is great and both medical
professionals and law enforcement officers know this. It will be
difficult for you to confide in strangers about what has happened to
you. Every effort is made to have family members, friends, clergy or
anyone you want present to provide support during this difficult time.