“It is better to be safe than sorry.” We’ve all heard it, a million times, but how many of us actually practice it when it comes to protecting ourselves? As women, it is almost impossible to carry out a normal life with no sexual assault or abuse by any man. We are essentially at a very high risk of getting into some dire circumstance, anytime anywhere.
However, it does not imply that the victim is at any fault. No matter how irresponsible, intoxicated, ignorant or naïve, the victim should never be blamed for her own pain.
That said, here are some ways you can protect yourself a little better against perpetrators who are waiting for an excuse.
When you’re out:
- Trust your instincts – In most cases, you’re the best judge. Nobody is more aware of your situation than you are in that moment. And nobody will ever have deeper consequences than you would, if you don’t trust your instincts. Go with the gut feeling, ladies.
- Be prepared – Fully charge your phone, grab some cash, and always use a cab company when you go out.
- Don’t overshare on the internet – Social media lays the groundwork for many assault cases due to women having shared too much of their private life online.
- Stick with your friends – Perpetrators tend to lay back when it comes to groups of women. Code words can come in handy.
- Be aware of your alcohol consumption – It’s okay to have a drink or two, but do not let yourself get too tipsy. Also be aware of the fact that people can easily slip something into your drink, such as date rape drugs.
Assault on the street:
- Keep on the lookout – It’s always good to be alert about your surroundings. So, use a flashlight when you’re on the street at night.
- Keep your ears open – Leaves trampling, a screeching tire, hushed voices; any of these signs could be pointed to a man lurking behind the shadows. Be extremely aware of it all.
- Keep on moving – Walk a little faster when you know that you’re the only one the road, especially at night. Make sure that whoever is watching you realizes that you know how to take care of yourself, if it comes to that.
- Take the smart route – “Smart route” here does not imply the quicker route. If you have to choose between an uninhabited shorter route, and a bustling city route, choose the latter. The more people there are, the less secluded and noticed you’ll be.
On a date:
- Inform a friend – Make sure that, your friend knows all the details of where, when and who you’re going on the date with. This would save your life in case you were to need a helpful distraction or backup for an SOS alert.
- Say “no” – Even if you were with a long-term boyfriend, husband or a one night stand, you always have the right to deny sexual activity at any point. Use it.