1. Do not advertise that you are a woman living alone. Use initials on your mailbox and in the phone book; even add a fictitious name.

2. Install and use secure locks on doors and windows, changing door locks after losing keys or moving into a

Many women take self-defense training to protect them­selves from assault.

new residence. A peephole in your front door can be particularly helpful.

3. Do not open your door to strangers. If a repairman or public official is at your door, ask him to identify him­self and call his office to verify that he is a reputable person on legitimate business.

4. When you are in situations in which strangers may be encountered, demonstrate self-confidence through your body language and speech to communicate that you will not be intimidated. Research reveals that rap­ists often tend to select as victims women who exhibit passivity and submissiveness Richards et al., 1991).

5. Take a cell phone with you when you are out alone.

6. Lock your car when it is parked and while you are driving.

7 avoid dark and deserted areas and be aware of your surroundings when you are walking. Such precautions can help if you need an opportunity to escape. Should a driver ask for directions when you are a pedestrian, avoid approaching his car. Instead, call out your reply from a safe distance.

8. Have house or car keys in hand before going to your door, and check the backseat before getting into your car.

9. Should your car break down, attach a white cloth to the antenna and lock yourself in. If someone other than a uniformed officer in an official car stops to offer help, ask this person to call the police or a garage but do not open your locked car door.

10. Never hitchhike or provide rides to hitchhikers or get into a car with a stranger.

11. Wherever you go, it can be helpful to carry a device for making a loud noise, such as a whistle or, even better, a pint-sized compressed-air horn (available in many sporting goods and boat supply stores). Sound the noise alarm at the first sign of danger.

Many cities have crime-prevention bureaus that provide further suggestions and home-safety inspections.

What to Do in Threatening Situations Involving Strangers

If you are approached by a man or men who may intend to rape you, you will have to decide what to do. Each situation, assailant, and woman is unique. There are no absolute rules.

1. run away if you can.

2. resist if you cannot run. Make it difficult for the rap­ist. On locating a potential victim, many men test her to see if she is easily intimidated. resistance by the woman is often responsible for thwarting rape attempts (Heyden et al., 1999). active and vociferous resistance-shouting, being rude, causing a scene, running away, fighting back-may deter the attack. This was the finding of a study of 150 rapes or attempted rapes: Women who used forceful verbal or physical resistance (screaming, hitting, kicking, biting, running, and the like) were more likely to avoid being raped than women who tried pleading, crying, or offering no resistance (Zoucha-Jensen & Coyne, 1993).

3. Ordinary rules of behavior do not apply. Vomiting, screaming, or acting crazy-whatever you are willing to try-can be appropriate responses to an attempted rape.

4. Talking can be a way to stall and can give you a chance to devise an escape plan or another strategy. It can be helpful to get the attacker to start talking ("What has happened to make you so angry?"), to express some empathy ("It is really discouraging to lose a job"),

or to negotiate ("Let’s take time to talk about this"). Even when talking does not prevent an assault, it may reduce the degree of violence (Prentky et al., 1986).

5. remain alert for an opportunity to escape. In some situations, it may be impossible to fight or elude an attacker initially. However, later on, you may have a chance to deter the attack and escape-for example, if the rapist becomes distracted or a passerby comes on the scene.

Self-defense classes are a resource for learning tech­niques of physical resistance that can injure the attacker or distract him long enough for you to escape.

What to Do if You Have Been Raped

If someone has raped you or tried to rape you, you will have to decide whether to report the attack to the police.

1. It is advisable to report a rape or even an unsuccess­ful rape attempt. The information you provide may prevent another woman from being raped.

2. When you report such an attack, any details you can remember about it may be helpful-the assaulter’s physical characteristics, voice, clothes, car, even an unusual smell.

3. If you have been raped, you should call the police as soon as possible; do not bathe or change your clothes. Semen, hair, and material under fingernails or on your clothing may be useful in identifying the rapist.

4. It may be helpful to contact a rape crisis center, where qualified staff members can assist you in dealing with your trauma. Most large urban communities in the United States have such programs. If you cannot make the contact yourself, have a friend, family member, or the police make the call.

5. In addition to general counseling, there are effective treatment programs for women who have been raped. If your symptoms do not subside after a period of time, consider entering a treatment program. You do not have to continue to suffer.

6. Finally, it is important to remember that many women mistakenly blame themselves for the rape. However, being raped is not a crime; the crime has been commit­ted by the man who raped you.

Sexual Coercion

Other drugs, such as gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and ketamine hydrochloride (Special K) have also been implicated in date rapes (Crawford et al., 2008; Elliott & Burgess, 2005). GHB was developed more than 40 years ago and was initially used as an anesthetic. Its mind-altering effects soon became well known, and it has become increas­ingly popular as a recreational drug—often with devastating results. GHB is a central nervous system depressant that can be especially lethal when combined with alcohol (Elliott & Burgess, 2005). Since 1990, emergency rooms have reported thousands of cases of GHB overdoses, some of which have resulted in death (Elliott & Burgess, 2005). GHB is odorless and tasteless, which makes it easy to administer to unsuspecting vic­tims. GHB exits the body in 6 to 12 hours, which makes it an especially ideal drug for sexual predators, because a lack of toxicological evidence makes prosecution difficult.

It is important to be alert for potential victimization by means of a date rape drug. Do not accept a drink (alcohol, coffee, soda, etc.), especially an open-container beverage, from someone other than a trusted friend. Never leave your drink unattended. If you forget and do leave your drink unattended (for example, while dancing), pour it down the drain. If you experience one or more of the following symptoms after ingesting a beverage, it is possible that your drink was tainted: nausea, dizziness, slurred speech, movement impairment, or euphoria. If you find yourself in such a circumstance, call 911 or ask someone other than your date or companion to help you seek medical attention and, if possible, retain a sample of the beverage. •

As a result of abuse and deaths associated with date rape drugs, the U. S. Congress has passed laws that strengthen the penalties for possessing Rohypnol, GHB, and other similar drugs and that significantly increase the prison sentences for rapists who use drugs to incapacitate victims. Recently published information indicates that an easy – to-use sensor, that when dipped into a beverage instantly detects the presence of a date rape drug, should be available soon (UPI NewsTrack, 2011a).