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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.

 

BE ALERT

 

  • 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.

 

BE PREPARED

 

  • 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.

 

BE ASSERTIVE

 

  • 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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