Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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By Diane Forrest, RN

Twenty years ago I had a Sunday school teacher who was in her late 60's early 70's.  She lived in a house in an older section of town with another elderly lady.    One night there was a knock on her door, looking through the glass she saw a young black man she didn't know.  Instead of asking through the door, she, being a trusting person, opened the door to see what he wanted.   He pushed his way into her home, knocked her down and raped her.  He then hit the other woman, knocking her out before proceeding to destroy the home.  When he had demolished what he wanted, he returned to rape the lady again, then left before the police were called.

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  • While you can never completely protect yourself from sexual assault, there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of being assaulted.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
  • Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
  • Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
  • Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more vulnerable.
  • Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that you have cab money.
  • Don't allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.
  • Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.

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If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted call the police immediately, then go to the hospital for immediate treatment for prevention of sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy.

For more information about Sexual Assault Awareness, click here:

National Sexual Assault Hotline | 1.800.656.HOPE(4673) | Free. Confidential. 24/7.

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