Brought to you by ISU Public Safety and the ISU Safety Committee March, 2002
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, and the Janet C. Anderson Women's & Men's Center will be hosting another "Take Back The Night" rally on April 25th. For more information on "Take Back The Night" contact the Janet C. Anderson Women's & Men's Center.
Sexual Assault is About Power, Control & Anger
An estimated 302,100 women and 92,700 men are forcibly raped each year in the United States. A 1999 U.S. Dept. of Justice report showed that 91% of victims of rape or sexual assault were female and 9% were male, with 99% of the offenders being male. In Idaho alone in 2000 sexual assault and rape increased 39.3%, and 84.5% of those victims recognized the offender. Yet according to Bureau of Justice statistics only 28% of sexual assaults and rapes are ever reported.
Don't mask the facts about sexual assault and rape with myths and stereotypes. Sexual assault and rape are acts of violence, and can happen to anyone. Attackers and rapists can be anyone-strangers, neighbors, girlfriends, boyfriends and husbands, co-workers, classmates, family members, and even friends. In fact, most victims know their assailant.
Here's the good news: you can do a lot to reduce your risk of sexual assault. First, recognize that safety is your responsibility. Police, husbands, wives, family can only do so much. YOU are the only one who knows where you are and what you are doing at all times. Second, understand and learn risk reduction and avoidance concepts. Practicing the following tips is a good way to start:
Use Your Head
- Be alert! Walk with confidence and purpose.
- Be aware of your surroundings-know who's around you and what's going on.
- Don't let alcohol or drugs cloud your judgement.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or place makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, leave!
- If you think you're being followed, change directions and look for open stores, restaurants, police stations, or a lighted home.
How to Protect Yourself
- Make sure all entrances (windows, sliding glass doors, patio doors) are locked at all times with sturdy locks.
- Never open your door to strangers. Use a wide-angle viewer and make them show identification. Don't be embarrassed to phone for verification.
- Be wary of isolated spots - your office after business hours, apartment laundry rooms, parking lots, etc. Park in areas well-traveled and well-lighted. Ask a friend, co-worker or Public Safety officer to escort you.
- Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Stay in well-traveled, well-lighted areas.
- Have your key ready before you reach the door-home, office or car.
- Always lock your car-when you get in and when you get out.
- Take a self-defense class.
When the Unthinkable Happens
How should you handle a sexual assault or rape attempt? It depends on your physical and emotional state, the situation, the rapist's personality. There are no hard and fast, right or wrong answers, surviving is the goal.
- Try to escape. Scream. Be rude. Make noise to discourage your attacker from following.
- Talk, stall for time, and assess your options.
- If the attacker has a weapon, you may have no choice but to submit. Do whatever it takes to survive.
- If you decide to fight back, you must be quick and effective. Target the eyes or groin.
- If your attacker tries to move you to another location, do whatever it takes to prevent that.
- Report rape or any sexual assault to the police, Public Safety, the Janet C. Anderson Women's & Men's Center, or a rape crisis center. The sooner you tell, the greater the chances the rapist will be caught.
- Preserve all physical evidence. Don't shower, bathe, change clothes, douche or throw any clothing away until the police or rape counselor say it's ok.
- Go to a hospital emergency room or your own doctor for medical care immediately.
- Don't go alone. Ask a friend or family member to go with you or call a rape crisis center or school advocate.
- Get counseling to help deal with feelings of anger, helplessness, fear, and shame caused by rape. It helps to talk to someone about the assault or rape, whether it happened last night, last week, or years ago.
- Remember, rape is not your fault. Do not accept blame for being an innocent victim.
- Believe him or her.
- Don't blame the victim.
- Offer support, patience, and compassion to help the rape victim work through the crisis, heal, and emerge a survivor.
Take a Stand
- Organize a workshop on preventing rape and sexual assault. Make sure it addresses the concerns of both men and women.
- Volunteer at a rape crisis center or the Project Hope Advocate Program at the Janet C. Anderson Women's & Men's Center.
- Take a RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) class given through the Public Safety Office.
Campus Crime Prevention Programs
Safety Escort Service
This service provides faculty, staff and students safe transportation during evening and night time hours. Contact Public Safety at 282-2515 for a safety escort to your car or dorm room.
Emergency Blue Light Phones
These phones have been placed at various locations on campus and are directly connected to the Pocatello Police Department by dialing 911,and the Public Safety Department by dialing 2515.
This program is similar to the Neighborhood Watch program, but is developed specifically for residents of campus housing.
Students On Patrol Program
We want to increase the interactions between Public Safety and faculty, staff and students. We also want to reduce crime on campus by involving the students in patrolling those areas and acting as visible deterrents. Students will record and report suspicious activities, traffic related problems, violations of university policy and the location of potential vandalism/graffiti sites.
RAD (Rape Aggression Defense)
The RAD approach to personal safety is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. RAD is taught by Public Safety personnel who are certified RAD instructors.
Crime Prevention Pamphlets Available from ISU Public Safety
Your Department Of Public Safety, Would You Know If You Were Raped, Domestic Violence-The Hidden Crime, Sexual Violence and the Law (for men and women), and many more. . .
ISU Public Safety 282-2515
Janet C. Anderson Women's & Men's Center 282-2805
Crisis Line: 282-HOPE or 282-4673
Pocatello Police Dept. (Emergencies) 911
Affirmative Action Office 282-3964
Counseling & Testing 282-2130
Psychology Clinic 282-2129
Family Services Alliance 232-0742
Crisis Line: 251-HELP or 251-4357
For more information on Public Safety and the services we provide you can visit our website.