In today's society, rape has emerged as one of the most serious and threatening crimes.
The experience of being raped and personal assault is a shock from which the victim never completely recovers.Â The following list contains some precautions, which will greatly reduce the chance of becoming a victim.
WHILE AT HOME
If you are single woman, list only your last name and initials on your mailbox and in the phone directory to avoid advertising that you are a female who may be living alone.
Re-key your door locks after moving into a new house or apartment.Â Previous tenants or former employees may still have keys.Â There is no substitute for strong deadbolt locks.Â
Avoid â€œhidingâ€ duplicate keys in mailboxes, under doormats or flowerpots.Â If you must hide a key, find an unusual area away from the front door to do so.
Install and use a wide-angle door viewer (peephole).Â When alone, never open a door to strangers.Â Children should be trained to never answer the door.Â
Require identification of all repairmen and salesmen before opening the door.Â If you have any doubts, call their employer before letting them come inside your home.Â Donâ€™t ask them for a phone number to call.Â Look it up yourself to insure that you are getting the correct place of business and not an accomplice.
Protect your neighbors as well as yourself.Â Never tell a stranger that your neighbor lives alone, is home alone, or is gone on vacation.
Do not allow strangers to use your home telephone to make emergency calls.Â Never permit them to enter your house.Â Offer to make a call for them.
When you receive wrong number phone calls, never reveal you name, address, or admit that you are alone.Â Do not give your number to any unknown caller.Â Instead ask what number he was trying to call.Â Donâ€™t prolong or engage in a conversation, just hang up.
Keep your windows locked and install securing devices on windows that might open for ventilation.Â Limit opening your windows to a space small enough to prevent entry.Â Window locks and locking devices are available at you local hardware store.Â
Draw window blinds and shades or close your curtains after dark.Â Leave lights on in two or more rooms to indicate that there is more than one person present.
Avoid entering an elevator occupied by a stranger, especially in an apartment building.Â It is wise to remain in the lobby for a few extra minutes until you can ride alone or in a group.Â Always stand by the control panel in an elevator so that you can push the alarm button in an emergency.Â If you have suspicions concerning a man who follows you into an elevator, hit the door open button and step out quickly.
Never remain alone when using the apartment house laundry room or exercise spa.Â Many women have been assaulted in such places, especially if using them at night.
Avoid walking alone!Â Walk on streets where there are other people.
Stay out of alleys, vacant lots and vacant buildings.
If you must walk after dark while alone, carry a flashlight.Â A large heavy one with a strap can also be used as a weapon if needed.
Carry a shrill whistle in your hand, ready to use.Â Noise will often scare off a would-be attacker.
Walk near the curb and away from bushes and shrubbery.Â Avoid dark doorways and other places someone can be concealed.Â Avoid taking shortcuts through unfamiliar areas.
If someone follows you, cross the street and head for lights and people.Â Have your whistle ready to use.
Do not hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.Â If a car approaches and you are threatened, turn, yell loudly, and run in the opposite direction.Â The driver will have to turn his vehicle around to pursue you.Â Make your screams loud and long.
Secure your purse under your arm so it cannot be easily grabbed and taken.
Never display money or credit cards where others can see what you have.Â Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large sums of money.Â Keep your money and wallet in an inside pocket of your purse.Â Carry small bills when shopping.Â Many rapes occur as an afterthought from a robbery.
When arriving at home by taxi or private automobile, ask the driver to wait until you have gone inside.Â
Have your keys ready so you can open your house door immediately.Â Your keys can become a weapon; let them protrude between your fingers and use them to protect yourself.
If you use a push-button on your car keys to open the car door, wait until you are almost to your car before opening.Â
If a door or window has been forced or broken while you were absent, do not enter or call out.Â Someone may still be inside.Â Immediately leave the premises and call the police for your cell phone or a neighborâ€™s house.Â Wait until the police arrive before going home.Â They can check it out for you.
Be alert when you are alone.Â Be aware of conditions and people around you.
Be discreet and try not to call attention to yourself.
Do not broadcast details of your personal plans to casual acquaintances or strangers.Â Donâ€™t send messages out about being alone when on social network sites.Â
If you must work late in an office building, alert a friend or relative or the building security guard of your intentions so they will know when to expect you to leave and return home.Â Ask your employer to provide an escort.Â Try to leave in a group of known co-workers if others are expected to work late.Â Do not walk to your car alone if you can avoid doing so.
Remember, the opportunity for a rape attack is increased when you accept a ride home or a late night drink or snack from someone you have just met at a lounge, club or party.
Avoid making friends and setting up meetings with strangers on social networking sites or chat groups.Â Never give out personal and confidential information to unknown people, no matter how innocent they seem to be.Â Many predators use these sites to find their victims and often get away with their crimes because no one knows then personally.
Take assault prevention classes to arm yourself with useful knowledge that could save your life.