Carry a cell phone. If you feel uncomfortable walking alone, either call a friend or family member or pretend to call them. Walk purposefully and speak in a clear voice, saying something like “Could you unlock the door for me? I’ll be home in 3 minutes, it’s just one more block” or say which street intersection you are at. Potential attackers may be discouraged by knowing that someone is awaiting your arrival, is close by, and would come to check on you if you did not appear within the next few minutes.
The phone is also helpful for dialing emergency numbers in case you are attacked. Have emergency numbers on speed dial so that you can dial quickly, and if you are traveling in a different city/state/country, be sure that you have emergency numbers (e.g.: police, hospital, etc.) in your cell phone, as well as the number for several taxi services.
If you get a bad feeling about a person, party, and/or location, either leave immediately or find a friend. Don’t hesitate.
If walking down a sidewalk, walk next to the street, not next to the buildings, where people can be hiding in doorways, alleyways, etc.
If you are walking alone at night or in unsafe areas, avoid listening to music. You will be distracted by the music, making you an easier target because you are less aware of your surroundings and also may not hear the rapist approach. You also look like a better target.
If you do listen to music while walking, however, keep the volume low. Music at a high volume, especially if you’re wearing over-the-ear headphones, virtually eliminates background noise; you may not be aware of anyone following you.
If you will be walking in an unsafe area or in the dark, wear tennis shoes or bring a pair with you. Stilettos or other heeled shoes make you sound like a walking target and could even draw potential attackers from blocks away. Sandals are usually better than heels, but they are flimsy and could prevent you from running as fast as you can and could even fall off.
If all else fails and you are being followed by someone/attacked by someone, scream. Don’t be afraid to scream because you will feel silly; in some countries we have been socialized to “not make a scene.” If this is rape/potential rape, make the biggest scene you can.
Loudly scream, “Help!” or “Fire!”. Do not yell out, “Rape!” or “I’m being attacked!”. The reason behind this is called the bystander effect, which is a social psychological phenomenon in which bystanders are aware and witnessing an emergency situation but don’t offer help. During a rape, bystanders may not help for fear of getting attacked themselves.
If you want to and the rapist is not armed and he forces oral sex on you, bite HARD. If biting fails, always remember, “Grab, Twist, and Pull.” This meaning the testicles. It may sound silly now, but it may save your life.
Don’t panic because this will just make you easy prey.
If they try to, shout ‘dad’ or a masculine male name in a purposeful direction.
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.