What is sexual assault? Have you ever been assaulted? I think we have all gone through some sort of assault without necessarily going through the extreme offenses that amount to rape or even death.
Sexual assault is an act in which one intentionally sexually touches another person without that person’s consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will. It is a form of sexual violence, which includes child sexual abuse, groping, rape (forced vaginal, anal, or oral penetration or a drug facilitated sexual assault), or the torture of the person in a sexual manner.
Do you have a personal view? You should, and this can keep you safe. It’s important to spot the signs of sexual assault from a very far away to avoid being victimized. Because of culture and social assumptions in different environments and places we often get to have different views of situations we may deem too sexual. However the legal definition of it above is perfect enough to help us arrest the situation.
Sexual assault may take the form of;
*Rape—sexual intercourse against a person’s will
*Forcible sodomy—anal or oral sex against a person’s will.
*Forcible object penetration—penetrating someone’s vagina or anus, or causing that person to penetrate her or himself, against that person’s will.
Unwanted sexual touching.
*Sexual contact with minors, whether consensual or not.
*Incest (Sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion between family members.)
*Any unwanted or coerced sexual contact
Other sexual crimes include:
Solicitation of minors through the Internet
Possession of child pornography.
How To Protect Yourself;
- Avoid hazardous situations. For example,be cautious when traveling. Try to have company and avoid alcohol or drugs, to reduce your risks for being victimized when under intoxication.
- Communicate your limits clearly.
If someone starts to offend you or cross a line that you have set for yourself, tell them firmly and early. Polite approaches may be misunderstood or ignored. If the person does not respect your wishes, remove yourself from the situation immediately
- Be assertive.
Often passivity can be interpreted as permission – it is not. Be direct and firm with someone who is sexually pressuring you. Tell an acquaintance or your partner what you want – or don’t want – and stick with your decision. Regardless, there must always be active consent on both sides. Consent to one thing does not imply another.
- Trust your instincts.
If you feel you are being pressured into unwanted sex, you probably are. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened around an acquaintance or your partner, get out of the situations immediately. If you misread someone’s signals, you can always explain later.
- Respond physically.
Even clear communication is not always effective. Some people simply don’t listen or don’t care. If either person is intoxicated of high, it may also complicate the situation. However, it is not an excuse for someone to commit sexual assault. If someone is assaulting you and not responding to your objections, you have the right to respond physically or to physically defend yourself if you feel you can do so
Make sure all windows and doors in your home can be locked securely, particularly sliding glass doors. Use the locks. Keep entrances well lighted.
Check the identification of any sales or service person before letting him in.
If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or garage by yourself, especially at night.
If you come home alone and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry don’t go in. Go to the nearest phone and call the police.
Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
Walk confidently at a steady pace on the side of the street facing traffic.
Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys.
If you are in trouble, attract help any way you can. Scream, yell for help, or yell “Fire!”
If you feel you’re being followed, walk into a store or knock on a house door.
Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank at least half full.
Park in well-lighted areas and lock the doors, even if you’ll only be gone a short time.
When you return to your car, have the key ready and check the front and rear seats and floor before getting in.
Drive with all the doors locked.
Never pick up hitchhikers.
If you have a flat tire, drive on it until you reach a safe well-lighted and well-traveled area.
Exercise extra caution when using underground and enclosed parking garages. Try not to go alone.
If you are being followed, don’t drive home. Go to the nearest police or fire station and honk your horn. Or drive to an open gas station or other business where you can safely call the police. Don’t leave your car unless you are certain you can get inside the building safely. Try to obtain the license plate number and description of the car following you.
Credits: Some of the information in this article are resourced from police guidelines on how to keep yourself safe.
Live The Joy Life!