Rape is a horrible thing to experience. Once it happens to you, you don’t want to tell anyone, because you are afraid. Or you think people will think less of you after you tell them. While these attacks are not the fault of the victim, you can take some precautionary measures to keep yourself safe.
Trust your instincts. Don’t underestimate your own judgment. If you feel uncomfortable in someone’s company, avoid being secluded with them and be firm if coercion is attempted. Attackers will more often prey on people who look vulnerable and seem easily manipulated.
Bring a friend if you are going to a party or other event in a strange place. If you can’t bring someone you know, give a friend your phone number and expected time you’ll be home, and tell him or her that you’ll check in.
Keep an eye on your drink. Date rapists can lace drinks with flavorless chemicals. Don’t go back to a drink if you’ve left it unattended, and don’t accept an open drink from a stranger (unless you saw it made at the bar or similar).
Walk with a friend if possible, especially if you’re walking at night or in a remote location. If you’re going on a jog, bring a companion.
Stay alert by avoiding headphones (which impair your ability to hear ambient sounds), or hats that block your peripheral vision. Be aware of people in the area, ahead and behind you.
Stick to populated, well-lit areas if you need to walk alone. Avoid poorly lit areas, or areas with minimal escape routes.
Carry pepper spray or a similar item for emergency self-defense.
Learn basic self-defense moves. Preparing yourself for a potential attack allows you to react better when faced with the fear and stress of the situation.
Move with confidence. Someone who looks purposeful and physically capable is a less appealing target.
Confront a pursuer. If you know that someone is following you, turn and ask them the time. Get a good look at their face and overall appearance. Attackers prefer to target victims who haven’t seen their face.
Struggle and yell if attacked.
Understand that rape isn’t just committed by strangers, but by friends, relatives, and even colleagues, as well. Often victims will know and possibly trust their rapist prior to the offense.