Sometimes, victims of sexual assault struggle with an array of emotions following an attack, but are unable to identify what has taken place as an assault. To learn more about the definition and signs of sexual assault, please visit our Sexual Violence section.
Although the majority of sexual assaults take place in homes and are committed by people we know, it is important that we also be mindful of our safety outside of the home. All individuals, but especially young women, should take the following precautions:
- There is safety in numbers – go out with friends you trust and develop a signal if you suspect trouble. Keep an eye on your friends to make sure they are safe.
- Never leave a drink unattended – always keep it with you or finish it before you must put it down
- If you aren’t feeling well at a party or other social gathering, make sure a friend stays with you.
- Remember that it may not be safe to be intimate with someone who has been drinking alcohol and/or taking drugs
- When walking alone, make sure to walk in well-lit, public areas
- Call out loudly for help if you suspect danger
Remember that sexual assault is never your fault – even if you didn’t take the above precautions – so don’t hesitate to seek help immediately. You are never to blame if you are sexually assaulted.