A Guide For The Survivor Of Rape: How To Cope

If you are a survivor of rape, there are ways to live with the pain you are feeling, and ways of healing after this experience.

Rape - it is every woman's nightmare, and it is becoming more prevalent. How to protect oneself? Obviously, not every rape situation can be anticipated, but there are certain things that you can and should do protect yourself. The following tips could well save you from becoming a victim.

(1) Don't allow yourself to be isolated with a man you don't know well.

(2) Check the credentials of anyone you let into your home (i.e. repairmen, market researchers)

(3) Date in groups or with a chaperone until you are comfortable with your partner.

(4) Set firm limits on the amount of physical intimacy, if any, you will allow on a date.

(5) Trust your instincts. If you don't feel comfortable around a guy, get away.

(6) If trapped with someone who is intent on rape, try passive resistance first. Try talking, screaming, even vomiting if you have to.

(7) Failing passive resistance, move to active resistance. Don't hesitate - fight back! Get angry - not afraid - that this person would dare to violate you. Bite, kick, scratch - whatever it takes.

(8) In a date rape situation, use the shock tactic of calling the attack what it is. "This is rape! I'm calling the police," may put a halt to the attack.

(9) If you are unable to fend off the attack, concentrate on remembering details so you can identify the assailant later. Scratching him will leave forensic evidence with you.

(10) If you are overpowered do not condemn yourself for not being able to resist.

Is there a common profile of a rapist? Yes, the experts have isolated a number of factors that can predispose one to becoming a rapist. Watch out for the following:

(a) emotional abuse

(b) tries to control elements of your life

(c) gets easily jealous

(d) gets angry if you offer to pay on a date

(e) is physically violent

(f) doesn't view you as an equal

(g) is intimidating in a physical and emotional way

As a parent there is much you can do to protect your daughter. Get to know the young men with whom your daughter keeps company. Instill in her a respect for her body and an adamant conviction that she won't be led along by pressure to succumb to the sexual advances of others. Make it clear that she shouldn't lead a date on or encourage him.

Rape is never a pleasant thing to think about. By being prepared, however, and thinking about how you might react, you are taking yourself out of the role of helpless victim, and into that of defender of your property - your body.

© High Speed Ventures 2011