by Ashley Horne
Rape – it’s a scary thought. We’ve all found ourselves walking alone in a dark parking garage or down a street late at night. I don’t know about you, but I always find myself thinking “I’m so stupid – anything could happen to me here and no one would know it.” Such thoughts for many women are based on truth. More than two million women are sexually assaulted each year…that number is huge!
What, you may now be asking, can I do to make sure that I am not one of those affected by rape? What better time to discuss facts about rape and what rapists look for in their victims.
- Most rapes occur between 5:00 AM and 8:30 AM. Think about it, fewer people means fewer witnesses and less of a chance of being caught or interrupted.
- Women are most frequently abducted in grocery store parking lots, parking garages and public restrooms. That’s scary…the grocery store? I don’t even look around at the grocery store!
- Only 2% of rapists carry a weapon. Rape will land you in jail for 3 to 5 years, but if you have a weapon the term is much longer (15 to 20 years). This should give you even more confidence to RUN if you can get loose!
What do rapists look for in their victims?
- Long hair, ponytails, braids or buns are easy to grab and make it difficult for you to get away.
- Easy to remove clothing or clothing that can be cut off quickly is ideal.
- Women who are distracted are easy targets. This can include cell phone usage or searching for keys in your purse.
- Women with objects like umbrellas in their hands are better left alone. Any item that can be used from a distance to poke or hit an attacker is a great deterrent.
So how do you protect yourself? You may have heard some of these ideas before, but they work!
- Be aware of your surroundings. Just being confident and alert decreases your vulnerability.
- Learn some simple self defense techniques. Do not be afraid to fight! Scream and kick with all you’ve got.
- Get pepper spray and learn how to use it.
- Always go for the groin. Assuming your attacker is male a direct hit to the groin will buy you time to run.
- Shout “No” or “Stop” when you are being approached. Remember that your attacker wants someone who is not going to fight back so make that person know you are going to give it all you have.
- Finally, do not give up! You are strong – you are a woman!