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The following strategies may help you feel safer and more in control of your surroundings.
- Trust your instincts. If a person or place makes you feel unsafe, it’s probably for good reason.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Watch for signs of trouble, like strangers in private areas or people loitering where they shouldn't be.
- If you sense trouble, get to a safe place as soon as possible
- If you feel you are in danger, attract help any way you can
Report any unauthorized or suspicious people in your surroundings. Most sexual assaults involving military personnel occur on post.
- Travel with a buddy or in groups. Watch each other’s back and say something if you notice a situation or interaction that seems “off.”
- Stay sober, or drink in moderation. Studies indicate that most sexual assaults involve use of alcohol.
- Never leave a drink unattended or accept a drink from an open container. Educate yourself about date rape drugs.
- Lock the doors to your home, barracks, and car.
- Being assertive means that you state what you want, and what you don’t want. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
- If you feel uncomfortable, scared, or pressured, act quickly. Say, "Stop it" and leave or call for help.
- "No" means "No." If you decide you don’t want to be intimate with someone, make your decision clear if you feel safe to do so.
- You have the right to say "No" even if you:
- Said yes, but changed your mind
- Have had sex with this person before
- Have already been kissing or "making out" with this person
Dating “Red Flags”
Be especially alert if the person you are with:
- Ignores, interrupts or makes fun of you
- Sits or stands too close to you or stares at you in a way that makes you uncomfortable
- Has a reputation as a "player"
- Drinks too much or uses drugs; tries to get you to use drugs or alcohol
- Tries to touch or kiss you or gets into your "personal space”
- Wants to be alone with you before getting to know you, or pressures you to be alone together
- Does what he or she wants without asking what you want
- Gets angry or sulks if he or she doesn't get what he or she wants
- Pressures you to have sex, or tries to make you feel guilty for saying “No”
Remember: Trust your instincts!
Reduce Your Risk in a Deployed Environment
Be especially prepared and alert in deployed environments. Deployed environments present special risks for military personnel:
- Sleeping areas (tents, bunkers and other buildings) are often less secure in a deployed environment. Report any unauthorized people in sleeping areas.
- Be alert if non-service personnel are present in deployed unit and working areas. Report any suspicious activity.
- Deployed environments may have different lighting conditions and facilities than those in garrison. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
- Different cultures may treat females differently. Be assertive and clearly state if you feel uncomfortable with the way someone treats you.
- Always travel with a buddy.