An assault is a physical, verbal, or sexual attack against another person. Physical and sexual assaults happen every day to men, women, and children from every social and economic background. A person can be a victim of assault at the hands of a complete stranger or from someone that they know.
A person who has been assaulted is never responsible for what happened to them and should never be blamed by others. It’s important for people to be aware that while there are no guarantees that a physical or sexual assault will never happen, there are preventative measures that a person can take to decrease the risk of becoming an assault victim.
Methods of preventing an assault include being aware of your environment at all times, locking doors and windows while driving or when indoors, not walking alone at night, and immediately screaming for help if you believe you are in danger. Experts recommend that a person scream the word "fire" as opposed to a simple plea of help as bystanders are more prone to respond to a fire threat than they are to become involved in a situation involving a possible assault.
More resources on how to prevent physical or sexual assault can be found here:
Preventing Sexual Assault – PDF Document
Pathways Courses – It Won’t Happen to Me
RPI Public Safety: Preventing Sexual Assault
Metropolitan Police Department: Guarding Against Robbery and Assault
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Since both sexes can be victims of physical and sexual assault, the following resources include information for men, as well women:
When Someone You Know is Afflicted by Sexual Assault
Metropolitan Community College – Tips for Preventing Rape & Information for Rape Victims PDF Document
Teenagers are sometimes specific targets for physical and sexual assault, therefore, The Teenagers Handbook for Preventing Rape and Sexual Assault is an excellent resource for empowering young people with the information they need to try to prevent sexual assault.
Some assaults happen in social settings where victims feel more comfortable in their surroundings and are often in the company of others that they know and trust. However, some men intentionally take advantage of these relaxed situations and prey on women who have become too intoxicated to resist their sexual advances. Others have been known to even secretly place drugs in a woman’s food or drink as they wait for their victim’s defenses to weaken before they initiate a sexual assault.
The following website explains ways to avoid being a victim of an assault after being drugged or after intoxication: Preventing Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault
Preventing sexual assault is often seen as a women’s issue. However, knowing the facts about rape is also a male issue. It’s important for men to fully understand when a woman is not consenting to sex and that ignoring her verbal protests or even her physical indications may result in a rape charge.
Here are a few websites that explore how men can help prevent sexual assaults against women:
Preventing Rape by Intoxication
Men Can Stop Rape – Resources
Preventing Sexual Assault by Peers
Employees in certain occupations - such as cab drivers, security guards, or people who work night shifts – are sometimes more at risk for being assaulted at the workplace than others. The Workplace Safety Toolkit gives further insight into occupations that may experience an increased risk and it explores strategies in preventing workplace assaults in general.
Another powerful prevention strategy involves reporting attackers. If you or someone you know has been a victim of physical or sexual assault, it is important that you report this crime to your local law enforcement agency for your own safety and to prevent the attacker from assaulting someone else.