Safety Tips to Protect Against Holiday Crime
holiday season is a time for giving, sharing and enjoying
family and friends. Unfortunately, it's also a
season for criminals, who have more targets
carrying extra money with lowered awareness.
there are ways to protect yourself and to lessen your
chances of a crime happening to you.
your mind on your surroundings, whos in
front of you and whos behind you. Dont
purposefully, stand tall, and make eye contact
with people around you.
YOUR INSTINCTS. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.
yourself a "tough target."
think that it cant happen to you.
you resist? Every situation is different.
be aware of your surroundings.
being followed call 911 or drive
to a police station.
your head. Stay as calm as possible and evaluate
your options and resources.
may be more advisable to submit than to resist
and risk severe injury or death. You will have
to make this decision based on the circumstances.
But, dont resist if the attacker has a weapon. Men are significantly stronger than women and can do a great deal of physical harm to a woman in a fight including choking, neck snapping, beating, etc. This is not to say, don't fight. That has to be your call in the moment, but keep this in mind based on his size and your confidence in a take-over, escape route, or access to a weapon such as a rock, stick, knife, gun, ice pick, letter opener, scissors, glass shard, whatever at hand, but keep in mind if he gets that weapon away from you, he will likely use it against you. Best to use your wits when you can to escape.
assessing the situation as it is happening. If
one strategy doesnt work, try another. Possible
options include negotiating, stalling for time,
distracting the assailant and fleeing to a safe
place, verbal assertiveness, screaming, and physical
may be able to turn the attacker off with unusual
behavior such as throwing up, acting crazy, or
stating you have a sexually transmitted disease.
After a Sexual Assault
to a safe place and call the police.
sooner you report the crime, the greater the chances
your attacker will be caught.
NOT shower, bathe, douche, or destroy any clothing
you were wearing. Do not disturb any physical
to a hospital emergency room for medical care as there could be transfer evidence or DNA on your clothes or body. This is how they catch perpetrators. As even as disgusting as it feels not to shower immediately, it will serve you in the long-run and bring you justice.
someone to be with you. You should not be alone.
a rape treatment or crisis center to help you
deal with the consequences of the assault.
|More Information about Rape
is one of the most frequently committed violent
crimes and its incidence is steadily increasing.
Hand-in-hand with the rising incidence of sexual
assault is the rising fear among women of such
victimization. A study of perceptions of violent
crime among residents of Seattle, Washington,
reported that all women fear rape, especially
those under 35. They report that rape is a more
terrifying possibility to them than any other
crime including murder, assault, and robbery.
fear is not necessarily misplaced. It is believed
that perhaps twice as many criminal sexual
assaults occur as are officially reported.
Also official tallies do not reflect the number
of deaths as a result of rape; these deaths
are reported as murders. Every single minute
in America, there are 1.3 forcible rapes of
adult women; 78 women are forcibly raped each
hour. Every day in America, 1,871 women are
forcibly raped, equating to 56,916 forcible
rapes every month. Every year in our country,
683,000 American women are forcibly raped.
the prevalence of sexual assault in the United
States, a number of misconceptions surround
this crime and its victims. Some of the most
common myths include:
MYTH: Rape is a crime of passion.
notion that the rapist is controlled by overwhelming
lust is far removed from the reality. Psychologists
have found that the motivation behind sexual
assault is most often the need to dominate
and control, rather than the inability to
control sexual urges. Rape is primarily an
act of power, control and aggression, with the sexual
aspects taking secondary role.
MYTH: Women who are careful don't get raped.
occur in a variety of places and situations
during any hour of the day or night. According
to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 35 percent
of all rapes occur in or near a victim's home,
and there are incidences of rape in offices,
schools, and other work locations. While there
are certain preventative measures women can
take, even the most cautious women are not
MYTH: Rape is impossible if the woman really resists.
victims resist sexual assault in some way,
but the rapist usually has the advantage of
surprise and strength. Physical force is used
in 85 percent of all reported rapes, and 25
percent of victims are threatened or attacked
with a dangerous weapon. In
addition to the sexual attack, more than half
who are physically assaulted, receive some
injury. Injury is more likely if the
MYTH: Women secretly want to be raped.
is a difference between romantic fantasy and
brutal, violent reality. There also is a difference
between the fundamental right of choice in
one's fantasy and the loss of control as a
victim of sexual assault.
MYTH: The rapist is usually a stranger.
opinions vary. According to the Bureau of
Justice Statistics (BJS), a woman is twice
as likely to be attacked by a stranger than
by someone she knows. However, sexual assault
by an acquaintance "date rape" is
a serious and largely unreported occurrence.
In a survey sponsored by the National Institute
of Mental Health (NIMH), 6,159 college students
at 32 schools nationwide were interviewed
and reported that 84 percent of the victims
of completed rapes knew the offender, most
often (66 percent) as a date. Of these victims,
95 percent did not report the crime to the
police. Similarly, the incidence of marital
rape, as a form of domestic violence, goes
MYTH: Women invite rape by dressing or acting seductively.
is little correlation between physical attractiveness
and the likelihood of becoming a victim. To
believe that a woman "deserves"
to be raped is to say that a wealthy-looking
man "deserves" to be robbed.
If rape is imminent, the woman should relax
and enjoy it.
may be a fatal belief, according to interviews
with murderers who sexually molested their
victims. These offenders report that the victim's
compliance or non-forceful resistance were
not deterrents to the murder, with survivors
being those who forcefully resisted. Even
in sexual assaults without homicidal intent,
it is unreasonable to expect a woman to enjoy
involuntary participation in a violent, terrifying
MYTH: Women "cry rape."
reality is that sexual assault is perhaps
one of the most under reported crimes in relation
to its actual incidence. BJS found that only
about half of the victims of rape or attempted
rape surveyed between 1973 and 1982 reported
the crime to the police. Various other surveys
also found that a vast number of sexual assaults
go unreported, with even higher percentages
of victims not reporting. In general, victims
of "classic" rape, i.e., violent
attack by a stranger, are more likely to report
the crime than women raped by men they know,
at home or in social settings. Thus, the notion
that "a woman scorned" will hurl
false rape accusations, considering the tendency
of victims not to report out of shame or despair,
is unlikely to be true.
Dept. of Justice)
the car maintained and have at least a half tank of gas in the car in case of emergencies.
in well-lighted areas and lock your doors, no
matter how long youll be gone.
valuables out of sight or in the trunk.
all seats and floorboards before entering
with all doors locked and windows rolled up.
pick up hitchhikers.
your car breaks down, put the hood up, lock the
doors, turn on the flashers, and move to the passenger
seat. Do not leave your car. If someone stops, roll down the window slightly and ask
them to call the police or a tow truck.
underground or enclosed parking garages if possible.
parking or returning to your vehicle, carry your
keys and be aware of your surroundings.
Carry a cellphone and keep it charged.
to use well-lit and frequently used stops.
to sit near the driver or conductor.
sitting near exits. An attacker can reach in and
grab a purse or jewelry as the bus or subway pulls
alert to who gets off with you.
If you feel uncomfortable, find a
place where there are other people.
locks, simple precautions, neighborhood awareness, and
common sense can help prevent most property crimes.
and use good deadbolt locks in your doors (half burglars enter through unlocked doors
sliding glass doors with locks or a rigid wooden
dowel wedged in the track.
double-hung windows by sliding a bolt or nail
into a hole drilled at a downward angle through
the top of each sash and into the frame.
back shrubbery hiding doors or windows. Cut back
tree limbs that could help a thief climb to the second
sure all porches, entrances, and yards are well
the neighborhood. Dark alleys, litter, and rundown
areas attract criminals.
not hide house keys in mail boxes, planters,
under doormats or in other easy to find places.
not put personal identification on key rings.
only your ignition key with mechanics or parking
attendants, keeping other keys safe.
an electronic camera on your phone and in your home so you
can see who is outside without opening the door.
not trust door chains. They can be easily broken.
open the door to strangers. Insist
service personnel verify their identity before
letting them in.
give any information to "wrong number"
- Do not answer ROBO callers. If you do by accident, hang up. Do not give them any info whatsoever.
references of any person calling about a survey
or credit check before offering information.
up immediately on threatening or harassing calls.
your home appear occupied when you go out.
--Leave lights on and the radio playing.
--Keep your garage door closed and locked.
--Use timing devices to turn inside lights on
--If you will be gone several days, arrange to
have the mail and papers stopped or picked up. Many burglaries occur during the day
when neighbors could report the