Rape is defined as a violent sexual act committed against a person's will.
It is one of the most under-reported crimes.
Not motivated by sexual desire, rapists want to hurt and humiliate their victims, using sex as their weapon. Many people believe that rapes happen between strangers in high-risk situations; but the reality is, in one-third of the cases, victims are often attacked in their homes. In over half of the reported rapes, victims know their attackers.
It is also a fallacy that women invite rape by dressing seductively. Anyone can be raped: women, men, girls, boys, old, young, rich or poor. In fact, police believe that, in the stranger-rape situation, rapists tend to prey on women who look frightened, easily intimidated or seem to be daydreaming.
Some ways to reduce the risk of rape:
- Leave the lights on - when you're out, and have your keys ready when you return.
- Avoid isolated places - such as elevators, laundry rooms and garages, when you're alone. Also avoid these places when someone there makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Vary your daily routine - if possible, so it's not predictable.
On Dates or in Social Situations:
- Express yourself - about your sexual beliefs. Make your limits clear before you get into a sexual situation.
- Be careful with alcohol - and other drugs. They can cloud judgment and slow responses. Be aware of your date's use of alcohol or other drugs, too.
- Arrange your own transportation - especially if you don't know your date well. Drive, use public transportation, or go out with a group or another couple.
Some tips to help you should you be attacked:
Should the Unthinkable Happen:
- Keep your head - stay as calm as possible, think rationally and evaluate your resources and options.
- Possibly distract the attacker - with bizarre behavior such as throwing up, acting crazy, or picking your nose.
- Go to a safe place - and call the police. The sooner you make the report, the greater the chances the attacker will be caught.
- Do not shower, bathe, or douche - or destroy any of the clothing you were wearing. It is important to preserve all physical evidence for court use.
- Go to the hospital emergency room - for medical care. Longmont United Hospital is located at 1950 Mountain View Ave. Ask the examining doctor to make a note of all injuries received. Make sure you are evaluated for the risks of pregnancy and venereal disease.
Call someone - to be with you. You should not be alone. In Longmont, you can contact Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) at (303) 443-0400 (24-hour crisis line).