10 Ways To Prevent Sexual Assault In Your Everyday Life
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Health and Wellness

10 Ways To Prevent Sexual Assault In Your Everyday Life

Even though you shouldn't have to.

10 Ways To Prevent Sexual Assault In Your Everyday Life
Douglas H. Stutz

The words "sexual assault" are never at the forefront of anyone's mind, but in the modern day college party world, it's a problem that will often go without much punishment, or worse, unreported.

The world's best solution would be for sexual assault to not even be a thought in a young woman's mind, or a young man's, but the truth is that it's out there. And despite the fact that no one wants to talk about it, we should all know tips and tricks to defend ourselves.

So here are 10 ways to help prevent sexual assault from happening to you, even though you shouldn't have to:

1. Use the buddy system.

If your campus, place of work, etc., has some serious issues with their security or surveillance is severely lacking, the buddy system is the way to go. Always make sure you travel in groups as you meander from place to place. If you're walking home late from a party, or you're heading off on another adventure, be sure to do so in packs and never let your guard down.

While walking home alone does usually seem like an okay thing to do and you feel like you're okay, it's better to be safer than sorry. Any random people walking up to you could be someone looking to get a quick fix, and the sad truth is, 2/3 victims of sexual assault know their attacker. So the quirky guy from chem might actually not be the shy type just trying to get your number, but more the guy just trying to get you alone.

2. Tell everyone what you're up to.

No one likes to be that annoying friend on Facebook who's always telling the world what you're doing and what you're eating, but chances are, that can be something that saves your behind one day. Check yourself into places, tell your friends where you're headed so they know what time to expect you, and this will most definitely keep them on their toes. If you're late, then chances are they'll be quick to report that something is wrong, perhaps giving you a chance to be saved or enough worry for you to call your friends overly paranoid for watching too many "True Crime" episodes.

3. The law isn't always there to protect you.

Now I am not saying police officers are horrible, but they are human. And humans are inherently flawed. When it comes to getting pulled over, there are things you're allowed to do to keep yourself safe. Like instead of rolling the window all the way down, crack it and hand them your drivers license. If they ask you to step out of the vehicle, request a female officer be present (or vice versa if you're a male). Little things like that just to be sure that it's not just some egomaniac on a power trip with a badge.

4. Always keep an eye on your drinks.

I know this is one you've heard before, and I'm sure it's played out. But even when you've just turned away to say hi to someone, keep a hand over the top of your drink. People are sneaky, scarily so. And if they're after something, they'll pull any stops to get it. So even if you're just turning around for a split moment, please pull that drink with you. It's the easiest way to be drugged with Rohypnol or some other delegated date-rape drug.

5. Do not go handing out your online info.

The easiest access to your information is any of your social media platforms. Sure some of them like Instagram and Youtube seem relatively safe, but if you've got a stalker or someone who's just literally dying to know you, something as small as posting a piece of your daily routine can give them the ability to follow you from there and figure out your schedule. Perhaps I've watched one too many crime documentaries, but people literally will go to any lengths these days.

6. Invest in programs that raise awareness.

Programs on campus and off exist to help you learn more, be aware, and teach your classmates and friends about the real deal with rape culture. They can teach you where to avoid going alone and how to protect yourself, while teaching men and women to be kinder and more respectful. The louder the voices of learning are, the more people listen and volume comes in numbers. It takes a village sometimes, people. Make a village.

7. Set the record straight, from the get-go.

If you're going out with someone and the expectations seem high on their end, make sure from the get-go you explain how you feel. Be direct, and if they get agitated, make sure you've told someone who you're out with. It never hurts to be real with people. Even if it's not going to prevent anything, it's sure as hell going to make sure they understand your boundaries and that there's no arguing the lines you're allowing them to cross and the ones you aren't.

8. Party responsibly.

We all get carried away at some point in the year for that feat you accomplished, the engagement of your friends, graduation, birthdays, etc. We all know our limit and yet, inevitably, there's always that one time where we get a little too carried away.

In moments like this, it's always good to remember that the more you drink, the more vulnerable you're likely to become for a predator to sink his paws into you. Now no one is saying "don't have fun, be safe, be square," but do not let yourself get carried away unless you're in a safe place, surrounded by people you know won't let you get hurt.

9. Treat yo' self, teach yo' self.

Self-defense classes are an absolute must for people nowadays. Not only is it a great way to stay in shape, but it's a perfect way to deter an attacker if you lay them out with a good body blow.

There's also learning how to shoot and getting tasers and things like that, but nothing is more terrifying than someone who knows how to break a bone with a simply aimed punch. Besides, who doesn't want to be ripped and able to bench press someone like they're light as a feather? Either way, it never hurts to learn a new trick or two to keep yourself safe and able.

10. Trust. Your. Instincts.

Your gut is never wrong. Let me say it one more time for the people in the back, YOUR GUT IS NEVER WRONG. If something inside is standing up on edge, if you feel like you need to book it, run for the hills, or defend yourself, it's usually a sure sign that something is up and you need to listen.

We were made to be able to tell when we've become the prey, it's an instinct tuned into every single living thing. Listen to it, and you could be preventing some serious trauma.

In conclusion, as a father, I worry every day about the world my kids are growing up in. I teach my boys that women are to always be treated with the utmost respect and that they're never to do harm to anyone.

No means no, and all of those things in between. I teach my nieces to never let a man define who they are or what they are worth and that they are made from fire. They should burn anyone who does them harm, they should make cities crumble from their strength and independence. But then, this is how I believe all men and women should behave. Either way, please employ these tips and tricks. Know that if it does happen to you, you're not alone. There's always someone there to listen.

If you, or someone you know, has suffered a sexual assault, please contact your local authorities. If you do not feel you are ready to report your assault, please contact the Hope Line at 1.800.656.HOPE

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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