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Protect Yourself Against Sexual Assault

It's All About Control, Degradation, and Violence

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Sexual assault is any unwanted, nonconsensual, forced sexual contact or activity which purpose is to control and/or humiliate another person. It can include acts of touching, kissing exhibitionism, and intercourse — anal, vaginal or oral.

There are ways you can help prevent a sexual assault. According to the New York Police Detective Bureau, this includes being alert to your surroundings. Know the location, street name, surrounding buildings, in case it becomes necessary for you to call 911. Listen to your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or in danger in any given situation, leave immediately.

Learn to be observant of people around you. What color eyes do they have? What are they wearing? Notice their teeth, tattoos, their size, hairstyle, or any other distinguishable features. All these will help you in the event it becomes necessary to contact the police.

Making Your Home Safe

  • Avoid sleeping with your windows open.
  • Have peep holes on your doors and use them. If you do not recognize who is at your door, do not open it, even with the chain on. Most chain locks can easily be kicked in.
  • Do not open the door to service people unless you are expecting them. Call their employer and verify their identity and the reason they need to enter your home.
  • If a stranger asks to use your phone, do not let the person enter. Offer to make the call for them.
  • Do not buzz someone into the building or hold the lobby door open unless you know the person.
  • Have the number to 911 programmed into your telephone.
  • Be mentally prepared of the possibility of being attacked and what possible actions you would take if confronted.
  • Install safety approved gates or bars on windows that can be reached from fire escapes on from the ground floor.
In your home or apartment, you will also want to make sure your entrance is well lit. Install security lights in areas where people can hide. Keep your doors locked and blinds pulled. Do not advertise your full name in the phone book on the mailbox. Your initials and last name are all that is needed. Invest in a paper shredder and shred any personal identifying envelopes or papers.

Source: New York City Detective Bureau

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