Say ‘No!’ To Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a crime of opportunity.
Predators will seek out vulnerable people who put themselves in compromised positions.
Although there is no foolproof method to completely protect yourself from an attack, there are several things you can do to help yourself appear less vulnerable, and therefore decrease the likelihood that a predator will target you as their next victim.
Several independent studies show that the best way to protect yourself from a sexual assault is to avoid dangerous situations.
Sounds easy enough right?
The truth is that people are constantly putting themselves in dangerous situations without even realizing it.
Here are 8 of the most common ways that people unwittingly make themselves vulnerable.
1. Lack of Awareness
Nowadays, people are more distracted than ever.
Between checking their Facebook status, taking pictures, and talking on the phone, few people take the time to become familiar with their surroundings.
Anytime you are in a new place, it’s always a good idea to make a mental note of all the exits and dead ends and plan out in your head how you would escape if it become necessary.
2. Venturing Into Isolated Areas
Even if you’re in a place that you’re familiar with or taking a walk around your own neighborhood, you should never go into areas which are isolated.
If you wind up in a situation where you need help, but nobody is around, it is less likely that you will be able to safely escape from an attacker.
Isolated areas include alleyways, less populated park trails, and anywhere else that has a conspicuous lack of people.
3. Putting Headphones in Both Ears When Walking
You don’t need to wear headphones in both ears to be able to hear your music.
It may sound like a extreme precaution, but think about how easy it would be to sneak up on someone that was listening to loud music and can’t hear what’s going on behind them.
Cutting off the sounds around you makes it very easy for someone to sneak up on you and quickly gain the upper hand.
4. Not Trusting Your Instincts
Sometimes, a person gives you an uncomfortable feeling, or situation just doesn’t seem safe.
Listen to your intuition when you feel this way.
We can’t always explain why certain things make us feel the way they do, but when it comes to protecting yourself, you can never be too safe.
When something just doesn’t feel right, go with your gut and change your plans.
5. Carrying Lots of Heavy Bags
It may sound silly, but loading yourself down with lots of bags or packages, can also make you vulnerable.
First off, it shows predators that you have something they can steal, and second, if your hands are full of shopping bags, they aren’t free to defend yourself with in an attack.
Also, carrying lots of items will most likely throw off your center of balance, making you even easier to knock down.
6. Not Having a Cell Phone With You
If you have a cell phone (and I’m sure you do) always have it on you, and make sure it’s charged before you leave the house.
There have literally been countless instances where a cell phone call has saved someone’s life.
Even if you’re just running up to the store for a minute, you never know what could happen.
Afterall, isn’t it always better to be safe than sorry?
7. Walking Without Purpose
It sounds abstract, but actually it’s pretty simple.
When you’re walking with a purpose, your head is held up high, your eyes are looking straight ahead, and you’re walking like you know where you’re going.
Walking with a purpose means not responding to things like cat calls and strangers approaching you trying to get you to stop and talk to them. There is no reason why you need to stop and talk to a strange man on the sidewalk.
Even if you don’t know where you’re going, act like you do.
Wandering around aimlessly looking lost makes you look like a prime target.
8. Being Alone With Someone You Don’t Know
Not all sexual predators are sleazy looking scumbags.
Most rapists are in their early thirties, white, affable, and occupy upper-middle class socioeconomic standings.
Many predators are master manipulators.
They know how to make a great first impression and seem very charming and likeable.
They know exactly what to say to make you feel comfortable being alone with them.
No matter how “nice” someone seems, don’t be alone with anyone you don’t know well. It’s always a good idea to run a criminal background check on someone before you put yourself in a potentially vulnerable position with them. A background check will expose any history of criminal behavior and is a great way to get the additional information you need about a person to make an informed decision about them.
Some of the most ruthless serial killers were charming, handsome, affluent men.
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