Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sexual assault

I am awoken at 0330 to voice on the other end of the phone. A woman has been sexual assaulted and i need to come to town to examiner her. These calls always leave me with a sinking feeling. I do this work because someone needs to be there for these victims, but I wish that one day there would no longer be a need for my position. I doubt that that day will ever come. Statistics show that 50% of sexual assaults are not reported and that every 3 minutes someone is sexual assaulted. This is a shame. Even though most assaults are done my someone that knows the attacker, I have found that the most violent, dangerous, and life threatening victims that I examine are assaulted by strangers. (Please don't think that I am saying that known attackers are gentle, not all are). Thankfully, those assaults are not as prevalent as known attackers. This morning it was a stranger that had attack this woman. So, since I am knocking around the facts in my brain to unwind a bit. I thought I would post some stay safe information to maybe prevent at least one person from a stranger attack.

•In any situation you should always be aware of your surroundings.
•Stay in well-lit areas.
•Walk on the side of the street facing traffic. Walk confidently at a steady pace.
•Avoid walking were assailants can hide, such as doorways, bushes or alleys
•If you believe you are being followed, walk quickly to a lighted area and where there are people.
•If you believe a car is following you, turn around and walk in the opposite direction or on the other side of the street.
•If someone stops you and wants directions or anything else, reply to them from a distance. Do not get too close.
•If at any time you feel you are in danger or need help, attract people in any way you can. Scream as loud as you can. If you are carrying a self-defense product such as Mace, pepper spray or a stun gun, use it and run.
•When you are in your car, lock the doors. If you are not in your car, keep the doors locked so that no one is able to enter your car and hide in it.
•While walking to your car have your keys in hand and ready to unlock the door. Before you get in your car look inside to make sure no one is hiding inside.
•While driving, if you think you are being followed, either drive to a well-lit public area or drive to a police station.
•If your car breaks down, open the hood and attach a white cloth to the antenna and get back in your car and lock the doors. If someone stops to help, remain in your car with the doors locked and ask them to call the police.

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