How can I reduce my risk of being sexually assaulted?
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), someone is
sexually assaulted in the United States every two minutes (RAINN calculation
based on USDOJ NCVS data). By being prepared, alert and assertive, you can
reduce your risk of being sexually assaulted.
- Being assertive means that you state what you want.
- Remember: "No" means "No." If you do not want to be intimate with another person, tell him or her clearly. Use a confident voice and body posture.
- Match your body language to your words - don't laugh and smile while saying "No."
- Do not just "go along" for the wrong reasons.
- Watch out for warning signs or "red flags" from your partner in intimate situations.
- Travel with a buddy.
- Stay in groups, as there is safety in numbers.
- Plan your outings and avoid getting into a bad situation.
- Stay sober. Studies indicate that about half of all U.S. sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol by the offender, the victim, or both.
- Never leave a drink unattended. Educate yourself about date rape drugs.
- Walk only in lighted areas after dark.
- Keep the doors to homes, barracks, and cars locked.
- Know where the phone is located.
- Don't go anywhere alone with someone unless you know the person very well and trust him or her.
||Red Flags to Watch Out For
You should be especially alert if the person you are with:
- Ignores, interrupts, or makes fun of you
- Sits or stands too close to you or stares at you
- Has a reputation for being a "player"
- Drinks too much or uses drugs; tries to get you to use drugs or alcohol
- Tries to touch or kiss you or gets into your "personal space" when you barely know him or her
- Wants to be alone with you before getting to know you, or pressures you to be alone together
- Does what he or she wants without asking what you want
- Gets angry or sulks if he or she doesn't get what he or she wants
- Pressures you to have sex, or tries to make you feel guilty for saying "no."
Reducing your risk in a deployed environment
- Trust your instincts; if a place or person feels unsafe, it probably is.
- Watch for signs of trouble such as strangers in private areas or persons loitering in places where they shouldn't be.
- If you sense trouble, get to a safe place as soon as possible.
- If you feel you are in danger, attract help any way you can.
- Don't dress in view of a window.
- According to The Acting Secretary of the Army's Task Force Report on Sexual Assault Policies (1.55 mb), from 1999 to 2004, 67% of the sexual assaults involving Army personnel occurred on post. Report any unauthorized or suspicious males or females in the barracks.
Be especially prepared and alert in deployed environments. Deployed
environments can present special risks for Army personnel:
- Sleeping areas (tents, bunkers, and other buildings) may be less secure in a
deployed environment. Report any unauthorized males or females in sleeping
- Many non-Army personnel are present in deployed unit and working areas
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Deployed environments may have
different lighting conditions and facilities than those in garrison.
- Different cultures may treat females differently than they are treated in
the U.S. Be assertive and clearly state if you feel uncomfortable with how
someone is treating you.
To reduce your risk in a deployed environment, travel with a buddy.