Sexual assault is a crime of motive and opportunity. The majority of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. Ultimately, there is no surefire way to prevent an attack. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800.656.HOPE, and online at online.rainn.org.
While you can never completely protect yourself from sexual assault, there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of being assaulted.
Avoiding Dangerous Situations
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
- Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
- Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
- Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more vulnerable.
- Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that you have cab money.
- Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or know.
- Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings.
In a Social Situation
- When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other throughout the evening, and leave together.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended when talking, dancing, using the restroom or making a phone call.
- Don’t accept drinks that are opened or from an open container. Watch your drinks being made and carry them yourself.
- Watch out for your friends and vice versa. If a friend seems out of it, is way too intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they’ve had, or is acting out of character, get them to a safe place immediately.
- If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, call 911. Be explicit with doctors so they can give the right tests.
If Someone is Pressuring You
- Remember that being in this situation is not your fault. You did not do anything wrong, it is the person who is making you uncomfortable that is to blame.
- Be true to yourself. Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to do.
- Have a code word with your friends or family so that you can communicate your discomfort without the person you are with knowing. They can make up a reason to pick you up.
- Lie. If you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings it is better to lie about a reason to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable, scared, or worse.
- Try to think of an escape route. How would you try to get out of the room? Is anyone around who might help?
Information contained on this page is from RAINN.ORG
LoboGuardian is a mobile application that increases the safety of our students. It allows students to contact UNM Police Department and 911 in case of emergency. Through the use of your mobile phone's GPS, an emergency response unit is able to track the student's exact location.
How to Install
For more info, visit loboguardian.unm.edu.