SEXUAL ASSAULT DEFINITION
• Any type of sexual contact to which a person has not consented
• Contact that includes forced vaginal, anal, or oral penetration; or any attempted penetration; or forced or nonconsensual fondling, touching, or groping
• Incest and child molestation
• No one has the right to force a sexual act upon another in any circumstances whatsoever!
DECREASING YOUR RISKS AND PROTECTING YOURSELF
In Dating and Social Situations:
• Be aware of your surroundings — who’s out there and what’s going on.
• Know your limits when it comes to using alcohol.
• If you are drinking, even non-alcoholic beverages, don’t leave your glass unattended—date-rape drugs incapacitate.
• Be assertive and verbalize clear sexual limits.
• Tell a friend where you are going and with whom you’ll be.
• Make sure your cell phone is charged.
• Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable with the person/s you are with or in your surroundings, leave.
In All Situations at All Times:
• Don’t prop open self-locking doors.
• Lock your door and your windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes.
• Don’t lend or leave your keys. Make sure your name and address aren’t on the key ring.
• Have your key ready to use before you reach the door of your home, car, or work.
• Know who’s at a door before you open it.
• Avoid isolated and secluded areas, like underground garages, offices after business hours, and apartment laundry rooms.
• Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
• Park in well-lit areas and lock the car, even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes.
• Drive on well-traveled streets, with doors and windows locked.
• Never hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker.
• Keep your car in good shape with plenty of gas in the tank.
• In case of car trouble, call for help on your cell phone, which you should always keep charged.
• If you don’t have a phone, put the hood up, lock the doors, and put a sign in the rear mirror that says, “Help. Call police.”
HELPING YOURSELF IF YOU HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED
• Go immediately to a hospital or clinic emergency room so you can get appropriate and thorough medical attention and so that evidence against the perpetrator can be collected through a “rape kit” exam.
• Report the crime to the police.
• Confide in a trusted family member or friend and ask that person to accompany you to the emergency room or police station.
HELPING SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED
• Be comforting.
• Don’t preach.
• Assure the victim that he or she is not to be blamed.
• Help that person get to a safe place.
• Offer to go with or take that person to a hospital or the police.
HELPING PREVENT A POTENTIAL ASSAULT ON ANOTHER
• If you see someone who is drunk or otherwise incapacitated or your instincts tell you a person is vulnerable and at risk for a sexual assault, there are several things you can do:
• Without putting your own welfare at risk and if it is safe to do so, you might try to get the at-risk person away from the situation.
• You can call the police.
DOMESTIC ABUSE DEFINITION
• Abusive, violent behavior in a relationship, whether in a domestic situation or a dating situation, that involves an attempt by one partner to control and intimidate the other partner
• Abusive behavior of a physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological nature
HELPING YOURSELF IF YOU ARE A VICTIM
• Call 911.
• Call a domestic abuse hotline.
• Go to a shelter.
• Get to a safe place within your home.
• Have an escape plan.
• Confide in a friend or family member and ask for their help.
HELPING PREVENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
• Be comforting and reach out to and support the person you believe is a victim.
• Call the police yourself if you see or hear evidence of domestic violence.
• Encourage your neighborhood watch or block association to become as concerned with watching out for domestic violence as with burglaries and other crimes.