Common sense, situational awareness, and trusting your instincts will reduce your risk of being sexually assaulted. Following the tips below will also decrease your chances of being attacked.
- If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. Studies indicate that about half of all U.S. sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol by the offender, the victim, or both.
- Do not leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
- When you date someone, communicate clearly with that person to ensure he or she knows your limits from the beginning. Both verbal and nonverbal (body language) communication can be used to ensure the message is understood.
- If you go on a date with someone you do not know very well, tell a close friend what your plans are.
- You have the right to say "No" even if you:
- Say yes, but change your mind
- Have had sex with this partner before
- Have been kissing or "making out"
- Are wearing "provocative" clothing
- Always have extra money to get home. Have a plan for someone you can call if you need help.
- If you feel uncomfortable, scared, or pressured, act quickly to end the situation. Say, "Stop it" and leave or call for help.
- When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted Or Think You Have Been:
- Go to a safe location away from the attacker. Contact a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Uniformed Victim Advocate (UVA), Victim Advocate (VA), or Military One Source for Restricted/Unrestricted reporting.
- Seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant or acquiring a sexually transmitted disease. Remember that all medical personnel in California are mandated to report all sexual assaults to law enforcement personnel.
- If you suspect you have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected.
- Preserve all evidence of the assault. Do not bathe, wash your hands or brush your teeth. Do not clean or straighten up the crime scene.
- Write down, tape or record by any other means all the details you can recall about the assault and your assailant.