When we say “sexual assault” most of us often think of rape; however sexual assault can be more than that. Any kind of sexual contact which involves force, intimidation, or coercion also falls into this category. Sexual assault can happen to just about anyone – it does not consider age, race, social status, or even gender. In these dangerous times, there are ways that we can help prevent and protect ourselves from any form of sexual assault.
Starting with your home, avoid sleeping with your windows open (especially if you are alone in your house). Be aware of the possibility of being attacked even inside your own home, so therefore have a plan on how to fight any intruders and what to do when you are assaulted. Don’t just let anyone inside your home, and make sure the emergency police numbers are on speed dial. Lastly, install protective measures (such as closed-circuit television, approved bars on gates or windows, alarms, etc) in order to detect any intruders that may come into your home. If that seems like too much, having a pet for a lookout can be a great security measure. It also helps to have your home well lit.
When you are outside your home, it helps to double-up on your safety measures. Become more aware of your surroundings; know who is there with you or if someone is following for some time. Avoid walking, driving or parking on poorly-lighted places, and control your alcohol intake during parties or going out. Walk with confidence and be assertive (it makes you look stronger) and establish your personal space. Keep your things close to you, and most importantly trust your instincts. If you think you are in danger or are not comfortable with a certain place, situation, or person, then it is best to leave.
Sexual assault can be a very damaging and traumatic experience. The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. says that even though taking legal action against the perpetrator can be a very intimidating step, it is important for your well-being that you do. There is nothing to be ashamed or feel guilty of as a victim of sexual assault. Those feelings should fall on the criminal. Sexual assault is a grave crime that should never go unpunished.