Sexual Assault Prevention
- Have You Ever Asked Yourself If You Have Been
Myth: Rape is just unwanted sex, and isn’t really a
Fact: Rape is more than just unwanted sex. Rape is an
act of violence because the rapist uses force as a motive for power and
control. One out of every eight adult women has been a victim of
forcible Rape. (National Victim Center and Crime Victims Research and
Treatment Center, 1992).
Ways to Prevent Sexual Violence — For Women &
- Be aware of your surroundings. There is a higher
chance of avoiding sexual assault just by being aware of what and who is
around you. Being cautious and alert can only be to your benefit.
- Know your sexual desires and limits.
Believe in your right to set those limits. Be aware of social
- Communicate your limits as clearly as possible. If
someone starts to offend you, tell him/her early and firmly. Being
polite is O.K. As long as you are firm and assertive. Say “no” when you
mean “no” and be prepared to repeat it.
- Dress comfortably. Dress as you please. However,
non-restrictive clothing could be an advantage. Nobody asks to be
sexually violated or raped. Be aware that if someone ignores your limits
and assertiveness, you want to be able to run and fight back if needed.
Tight clothing, high heels, or baggy pants could be a disadvantage if
you need to move quickly.
- Avoid excessive us of alcohol and
Alcohol and drugs interfere with clear thinking and effective
- Being turned down when you ask for
sex is not a rejection of you personally.
Women or men who say “No” to sex are not rejecting the person; they
are expressing their desire to not participate in a single act. Your
desires may be beyond your control but your actions are within your
- Accept the person’s decision. “No” means “No”. Don’t
read other meanings into the answer. Don’t continue after “NO!” Do not
assume that just because a person dresses in a sexy manner and flirts
that they want to have sexual intercourse. Do not assume that previous
permission for sexual contact applies to the current situation.
- Protect Yourself. If you are walking alone, try to
have a whistle with you. If you find yourself in danger, blow the
whistle to attract attention for help. Another item that may help you if
in danger is chemical mace, to spray in attackers eyes. Using items such
as keys, pencils, pens, or books can also be used to defend yourself
against an attacker.
Nine Ways to Avoid Rape
Rape is not just an act committed in a dark alley by an
unknown assailant. The truth is that most Rapes occur in the victim’s
home. About 60% of victims who report their Rape know their assailants.
It is possible, however, to be aware without being
afraid. Thinking and talking about the different types of sexual
assault, and what you might do if you ever find yourself in a bad
situation, can increase your chances of avoiding Rape.
- Always walk briskly; look alert and confident, avoid
carrying objects requiring use of both arms.
- Stay away from isolated areas, day or night.
- Never walk alone when it is dark.
- If you are being followed, get away fast, change
directions, and walk or run to a crowded area.
- Lock all doors to your car and residence at all
- Before you drive home, call your roommate, family or
a friend so they will expect you and be aware if you are excessively
- Encourage group activities in early stages of a
- Take a self-defense class.
- Be aware of legislation that concerns your gender
and contact legislators to express your views.
What To Do In A Risky Situation
- Stay calm-consider your options and how safe it
would be to resist.
- Say “NO” strongly. Do not smile; do not act polite
- Say something like “Stop it. This is Rape!” This
might shock the rapist into stopping.
- If the rapist is unarmed, fight back physically,
shout “NO!” and run away as soon as possible.
- If the rapist is armed, try to talk him out of
continuing the assault, or try passive resistance (pretend to
What To Do In Case Of A Rape
- Get to a safe place.
- Call a friend or family member to be with you.
- Breathe deeply and remind yourself that you are of
value, and that what has happened is wrong and in no way your fault.
- Call the police. A crime has been committed.
- Do not bathe, douche or change
You may be destroying legal evidence, regardless of whether you pursue
legal action or not.
- Go to a hospital emergency department for medical
care. This can be done without police intervention, if that is your
- Write down as much as you can remember about the
circumstance of the assault and the identity of your assailant.
- Seek the counseling and legal assistance from a rape
treatment center. The counselor there can help you deal with the
consequences of an assault.
Reporting the assault is a way of
regaining your sense of personal power and control. It enables you to
actively protest the violent crime that has been committed against you.
Reporting and prosecuting the assailant are essential in establishing new
norms that this behavior is NOT okay. Taking legal steps helps prevent
rape and protect other potential victims.
How To Help A Friend
- Believe your friend. A few people are going to act
as if you friend has lied or done something wrong. She/he will need your
- Listen carefully and do not laugh. People often
laugh if they are embarrassed or nervous.
- Help your friend to report the rape to someone who
can help - a counselor, school nurse, parent, child protective service
worker, teacher, or police officer.
- Let your friend know it is not her/his fault. People
who have been touched inappropriately often feel that they have done
- Be confidential and protect your friend's privacy.
Talk to a trusted adult if this situation is bothering you.
- Be verbal in letting your friend know that you care
and that you support her/him.
Myth: Abuse means physically hurting someone.
Fact: Abuse does not only mean physically hurting
someone. Abuse also includes hurting someone
psychologically/emotionally, verbally or sexually. One in three
teenagers experiences violence in a dating relationship. Dating violence
is aggressive, abusive and controlling behavior.
A Few Warning Signs That Your Date May Have An
- Bad tempered/easily angered
- Isolates you from your friends or family
- Blames others for his/her problems
- Threatens force or violence
- Uses force during arguments
- Verbally abusive
Is Your Relationship Unhealthy? Ask Yourself
- Are you afraid of your partner?
- Does your partner choose who you hang out with?
- Is your partner making decisions for you?
- Does your partner humiliate you?
- Has your partner’s jealousy limited your
- Has your partner ever kicked or punched you?
- Are you afraid your partner may do these things?
Answering “yes” to the above questions
is a definite sign of an unhealthy relationship.
(Provided by Network for Battered Women)
Ways to Prevent Dating Violence
- Consider double dates or being with a group when
first going out.
- When going out, let a friend or parent know when you
will be back. Tell your date that you have done this so he/she will
acknowledge that someone is expecting you back at a certain time.
- Be assertive and direct. Be able to be
straightforward about what you want, like or dislike in a relationship.
Having these goals or plans will help create a positive outlook on the
Help is Available
- Remember that you are of importance and no one
deserves to be abused or threatened. Turn to someone you can trust such
as a teacher, family member, friend, counselor at psychological
services, or a nurse at Health Services. These resources are here to
specifically help you, so now it is your step to go there. (If you are
under 18 years, teachers, healthcare providers and law enforcement
agencies are required to report suspected abuse to Child Protective
Help Someone Else
If you know someone who might be in an abusive
- Tell them you are worried.
- Be a good listener.
- Ask how you can help them seek help.
Myth: Domestic violence is not common.
Fact: Every nine seconds a woman in the United States is beaten by one
who claims to love her. (Support Network for Battered Women)
Domestic Violence is legally defined as when spouses or intimate
partners use physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment or
stalking to control the behavior of their partners. Domestic Violence is
a crime, a learned behavior, and is a choice.
Think about the following questions to distinguish
whether you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence
- Has your partner or spouse ever hurt or threatened
you or your children?
- Has your partner or spouse ever hurt your pets,
broken objects in your home, or destroyed something that you especially
- Does your partner or spouse throw or break objects
in the home during arguments?
- Does your partner or spouse act jealously, for
example, always calling you at work or home to check up on you?
- Does your partner or spouse accuse you of flirting
with others or having affairs?
- Does your spouse or partner make it hard for you to
find or keep a job or to go to school?
- Does your partner ever force you to have sex when
you wish not to, or make you do things during sex that you do not want
Steps to Take in Getting Out of Domestic
- Call A Woman’s Place of Merced County at 722-HELP or
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Ask for the
nearest shelter and how to get there.
- Call family and friends and see if they would be
willing to provide transportation, shelter, or anything else you may
- If you are unable to stay with family or friends,
choose a hotel/motel in which you can stay. Find out the quickest way
- Also know that police stations, fire stations and
hospitals are always a safe place to go. Make sure to know the fastest
way to get there.
Five Ways to Eliminate Domestic Violence
- Know what Domestic Violence is.
When a spouse or intimate partner uses physical violence, threats,
emotional abuse, harassment, or stalking to control the behavior of
their partners, they are committing domestic violence
- Develop a Safety Plan.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, develop
a safety plan. This may include setting aside an extra pair of keys,
money, passports, etc. to ensure the fastest and safest route out of
your home. Know where you can go ahead of time once leaving your home.
Try to remember the crisis hotlines, as they can assist you at anytime.
- Call 911.
Domestic violence is a crime. If you or someone you know is being
battered, call 911 immediately for help.
- Exercise your rights.
You and anyone you know who may be experiencing domestic violence have
the right to go to court and petition for an order of protection.
- Get help for you (and/or you and your
There are shelters dedicated to victims of domestic violence. Be sure
to call A Woman’s Place of Merced County at 722-HELP to find the closest
location near you. If not choosing a shelter, do call the crisis hotline
to assist you. They are here specifically to aid in your needs.
Remember, no one deserves abuse and that there is no
excuse for domestic violence.
Who to Call for Help
- Police 911
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 1 (800) 799-SAFE
- A Woman’s’ Place of Merced County (209) 722-HELP
- Merced College Student Health Services (209)
- Merced College Campus Police Department (209)
- VICTIMS OF CRIME RESOURCE CENTER @
Reporting Sexual Assault
In compliance with Assembly Bill 1088, the Merced
Community College District provides sexual violence prevention
information to students during new student orientations, and posts this
information on the campus Internet Web site.