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A Smarter You: Rape

By ghanamma
Protect Yourself From Being attacked
Protect Yourself From Being attacked

The subject of rape is in a category of topics that are considered conversation stoppers. The mere mention of the word causes some people to shut down completely in order to avoid the discomfort of having to even think about it. As much as we don't want to so much as think about rape, it is still a reality that can confront anyone, anywhere, anytime.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. According to Rape Crisis UK and Ireland, in 2004, there were an estimated 190,000 incidents of serious sexual assault and an estimated 47,000 female victims of rape or attempted rape.

Every woman hopes she will never experience a sexual assault. While there are no clear rules or strategies to avoiding an assault, AFRICANSEER has tried to distill some personal safety awareness tips.

1. The Time Of Day:
According to experts, rapists are looking for a woman with her guard down—this is not always at 3AM when a woman is leaving a club, instead they tend to look for women between 6PM and 7PM. Rapists know that 6PM to 7PM is the time of day when you'll be tired because you have been working all day.. You are likely not as alert around 6PM to 7PM as you are in the morning when you are on your way to work with your fresh cup of coffee. It is also a time of day when the sun is setting and some places, such as business districts, are predictably more deserted because no one is in the office. If you commute using public transportation, avoid dosing off and sleeping on your way back home because that can alert people around you that you are tired. Above all else, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and who is present.

2. The Number Of Distractions:
A woman walking around with many bags is more likely to be distracted and unable to move quickly if approached by a rapist. A woman carrying many bags will also probably fumble when she has to find her keys or tries to reach for her phone. Whether you are simply looking for your keys before entering your residence, or someone approaches you and you feel threatened by their presence, remember to put your bags down before acting.

3. The Level Of Familiarity:
Statistics from different sources show that more often than not, rapes are committed by someone the victim knows; and very often, the woman has spent some time with the man before the attack. Never underestimate who a potential rapist may be—it could be the guy who takes you on a date or a business . acquaintance who you are on a business trip with. In the event you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, experts recommend always saying “no” strongly and not worrying about hurting someone's feelings (they'll get over it). If things get out of control and you're in a place where people can help, shout “fire”— research suggests that people tend to respond more to calls of “fire” than calls for “help.”

4. The Degree Of Comfort:
All things being equal, a rapist would rather attack a woman wearing heels because she is less likely to be able to run away fast. Contrary to popular belief, rapists don't chose their victims based on how sexy or attractive they are. Psychologists have noted that. the act of rape is a violent act that has nothing to do with the rapist's attraction to a particular woman. The reason high heels are singled out is because a woman who is uncomfortable in her shoes likely won't be able to run away as fast as a woman who is wearing comfortable shoes. Also, a woman in high heels likely can't inflict as. much pain onto her attacker if she were to kick him compared to a woman wearing flat shoes. It is recommended that . you wear comfortable shoes like sneakers, especially when you are alone at an unsafe time of day.

5. The Ease Of Harming:
Rapists are more likely to go after a woman with long hair because it can be grabbed and pulled. Women with long hair should not go and chop off their long locks just because they think it will . make them less likely to be attacked.. Instead, get into the habit of remembering to tie your hair up when you leave your office late at night or are in a secluded part of town—try tying.it into a tight bun or tucking it into your jacket as a precautionary measure.

6. The Bag Of Tricks:
Some rapists seize on the opportunity to attack a woman while others plan their crimes. One of the tricks that is used to get a woman's attention and distract her is to pretend to be lost and then ask for directions. You cannot walk around paranoid all the time, neither can you assume that it will never happen to you because the person that approached you appears harmless and speaks with an accent! Ask yourself basic questions such as: has he approached you to ask for help and not another person who is even closer to him? Other attackers strategy is to hide in the back of a car and wait for a woman to get into the driver's seat of her car before making their move—to be safer, get in the habit of checking the back seat of your car before hoping into your car. The list of tricks a rapists can use is long, but with all situations do not take anything, including your safety, for granted.