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Tips for Preventing Sexual Assault and Re-victimization

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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.


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