Risk Reduction Strategies
Although it is not your duty to keep from being raped nor is there a way to become completely "assault proof", the following precautions are recommended to help guard your safety. Men must also examine their behavior and attitudes in order to avoid becoming a perpetrator, either knowingly or unknowingly.
- Avoid walking alone, particularly after dark
- Travel well-lighted, regular walkways and avoid shortcuts
- Make use of the free escort service provided by the UNI Police
- Stay alert to your surroundings
- Lock offices, apartments, homes, and dorm rooms when gone and when going to bed for the night
- Never prop open building doors.
- Do not loan your keys to others or leave them out in the open. Report any suspicious activity to the UNI Police (319) 273-4000
- Be independent and aware on your dates.
Express opinions on where to go and appropriate places to meet.
- Set sexual limits.
It is your body and no one has the right to force you to do anything you don't want to do.
- Accept your partner's decision.
If you are receiving "yes" and "no" messages from your date, state your confusion and discuss it.
- Avoid attending or staying late at parties where men greatly outnumber women.
Don't be afraid to leave early because it might seem rude. Situations where there are few women around can quickly get out of hand.
- Decide early if you would like to have sex.
The sooner you communicate firmly and clearly your sexual intentions, the easier it will be for your partner to accept your decision.
- Don't assume that a woman who dresses in a "sexy" manner or flirts wants to have sexual intercourse.
Don't assume that previous permission for sexual contact applies to the current situation.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs.
Be able to get yourself home and do not rely on others to take care of you.
- Do not give mixed messages; be clear.
Be alert to other unconscious messages you may be giving through your clothing, tone of voice, eye contact and body language.
- Be aware that a man's size and physical presence can be intimidating to a woman.
- Many victims report that the fear they felt based upon a man's size and presence 11/9/07.
- Don't accept alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks from anyone you don't know well and trust.
If you accept a drink from someone, make sure it's a drink that comes in a sealed container and that you open the can/bottle yourself. Do not leave your drink unattended.
- If you are unsure of a new acquaintance, go on a group or a double date.
If this is not possible, meet your date in a public place and have your own transportation home.
- Don't allow yourself or other men to take advantage of someone whose judgment is impaired by drugs or alcohol.
This behavior is also rape!
- Plan possible responses to threatening situations ahead of time so that you'll have an idea of what to do if you are attacked.
If you choose to resist, select actions within your capabilities, resist early and aggressively, and use the moment of freedom gained to flee or to summon help.
- If things start to get out of hand, be loud in protesting, leave, and go for help.
If it feels uncomfortable, leave quickly.
- Avoid secluded places where you are in a vulnerable position. This is especially critical at the beginning of a relationship.
Be particularly cautious about inviting a guest to your home or accepting an invitation to your date's home. These are the most likely places where acquaintance rapes occur.
- Examine your attitudes about money and power.
If your date pays for the meal or the entertainment, do you feel indebted? If so, then pay your own way or suggest dates that do not involve money. Need in different format to provide you, though content is the same.