Responding to a Forcible Attack
Your primary goal is to get away safely. To do this:
- Evaluate the situation— Look around.
- Are there sources of help available?
- What state of mind is your attacker in?
- Stay alert— Listen and observe carefully so you can make the best decision now and provide important evidence later.
Decide how to respond
Only you can decide the best response in an emergency. Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself. Screaming, hitting or biting may help you escape but could also expose you to greater harm. If you do resist, attract attention by blowing a whistle or screaming. Run, hit, bite or use self-defense, if you are trained. Do whatever comes naturally— and do it immediately.
In most cases of rape, the rapist is known to the victim. Experts on rape believe that more than two-thirds of all rape victims knew their assailant.
This is referred to as acquaintance or date rape. Following are some tips for avoiding such a situation.
Don't accept a ride home from someone you have just met, perhaps at a party - no matter how pleasant they may seem.
Know the person you're going out with well.
The use of alcohol and drugs is often related to incidents of acquaintance rape.
When intoxicated or high, people may find themselves acting in atypical ways. Use alcohol responsibly. If you are in a situation where people are abusing alcohol or drugs, you may be in danger and should exercise caution. Don't leave your drink alone or drink something you didn't get or open yourself. "Date rape drugs" slipped in a drink can leave you vulnerable.
Ineffective communication can contribute to acquaintance rape. Make your limits clear before you get into a sexual situation.
Trust your instincts. If a situation doesn't feel right, change the situation or get away from it.
As a Man You Need to Know
Rape is a crime of violence.
It is never permissible to force yourself on a woman, even if you think she's been teasing and leading you on.
Don't read signals. Have a clear understanding of each other's intentions.
When you use force to have sex, you are committing a crime called rape, even if you know the woman or even if you've had sex with her before.
Reporting the Attack
Whether or not you decide to press charges, it is strongly recommended that you report any rape or attempted rape. This will ensure that evidence is preserved should you decide to press charges later. It may also prevent the attacker from victimizing others.
While waiting for the police:
- Do not change your clothing.
- Do not clean your clothing or bathe yourself.
- Do not apply medication.
If you do so, you may destroy important evidence. Write down a good description of the assailant, specifying any identifying marks, scars or tattoos. Include the assailant's clothing, eye color and hair color.
In conducting a thorough investigation of rape or assault, officers will ask you many questions and will go over details of the crime. Additional interviews may be necessary because a victim frequently remembers information and details during subsequent interviews. These interviews may be unpleasant, but are not intended to embarrass or intimidate victims.
The Campus Police can assist you in getting counseling if needed. Counseling is made available through the Wyandotte Mental Health Center. The Women's Resource Center on campus offers support services, as well.