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It's important for you to know the facts...
EVERY WOMAN IS A TARGET FOR RAPE. A rape occurs every seven minutes in the United States. One woman out of four will be attacked during her lifetime. Some studies estimate that 25-30% of all girls ages 11-19 will be attacked during their teen years. Raped women have been as young as 6 months and as old as 90 years; they are from every economic level, from cities, suburbs and rural areas.
RAPISTS ARE NOT DIFFERENT FROM "THE GUY NEXT DOOR." Psychological testing has found no reliable differences between rapists and non-rapists. Most rapists are young (between 15 and 25), alone (80%), and unarmed (90%). Most attacks are premeditated (85%), and most rapists are the same race as their targets (66%).
THE MAJORITY OF ATTACKERS ARE KNOWN TO THE WOMAN THEY ASSAULT. In 65% of the reported rapes, the attacker is an acquaintance, a neighbor or co-worker, a relative or a friend.
A RAPE CAN HAPPEN ANY PLACE. About one-third of all rape attacks occur in the woman's home.
A RAPE CAN HAPPEN IN ANY LOCATION. Chicago police have recorded a steady rate of about 2000 rapes per year for the last 5 years. Suburban rates have not improved in several years. The Department of Justice says that only half of the violent crimes committed are reported to the police.
It's important for you to know you have options...
MORE RAPES ARE AVOIDED THAN COMPLETED. Four out of five rape attacks are not successful (P. Bart and P. O'Brien, Stopping Rape). This is especially true when the women resist attack.
YOU CAN AVERT A RAPE ATTACK BY EARLY, ASSERTIVE ACTION. In about 65% of rape attacks, the rapist first "tests" the target by trying to intimidate her. If she takes quick, assertive action, she can avoid attack.
YOU CAN INCREASE THE PROBABILITY OF AVOIDING RAPE BY USING MULTIPLE STRATEGIES. In half of all avoidance cases, the woman used several techniques - running, yelling, negotiating and/or physical resistance. When only one technique was used, the success rate dropped. The most successful pair were yelling and running.
YOU CAN INCREASE YOUR SAFETY BY DOING SIMPLE THINGS. Women who stand and walk in a confident manner are less likely to be perceived as vulnerable. Women who are aware of their surroundings and the people in them, are less likely to be surprised. Women who have thought about safe, well lit and busy places in their neighborhood, know good places to run to.
YOU CAN INCREASE YOUR OPTIONS BY LEARNING A FEW BASIC VERBAL AND PHYSICAL TECHNIQUES. The more ways a woman defends herself, the more likely she is to defend herself successfully. (P. Bart and P. O'Brien, Stopping Rape)
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