If You are Attacked
How should you handle a rape attempt? It depends on your physical and emotional state, the situation, the rapist's personality. There are no hard and fast, right or wrong answers, surviving is the goal.
- If the rapist has a weapon, you may have no choice but to submit. Do whatever it takes to survive.
- If you decide to fight back, you must be quick and effective. Target the eyes or groin.
- Try to escape, scream, and be rude. Make noise to discourage your attacker from following.
- Talk, stall for time, and assess your options.
- Don't go alone. Ask a friend or family member to go with you or call a rape crisis center or school counselor.
- Get counseling to help deal with feelings of anger, helplessness, fear, and shame caused by rape. It helps to talk to someone about the rape, whether it happened last night, last week, or years ago.
- Go to a hospital emergency room or your own doctor for medical care immediately.
- Preserve all physical evidence. Don't shower, bathe, change clothes, douche, or throw any clothing away until the police or rape counselor say it's okay.
- Remember, rape is not your fault. Do not accept blame for being an innocent victim.
- Report rape or any sexual assault to the police or rape crisis center. The sooner you tell, the greater the chances the rapist will be caught.
If Someone You Know has been Raped
- Believe her or him
- Don't blame the victim
- Offer support, patience, and compassion to help the rape victim work through the crisis, heal, and emerge a survivor