Although date rape is becoming more common due to availability of “date rape” drugs, there are many things you can do to protect yourself. The following strategies are simple and should become common practice to avoid dangerous and violent situations:
- Take a self-defense class.
- Avoid drinking — alcohol will hinder your ability to make good decisions. If you do choose to drink, do so responsibly.
- Trust your gut — this is something that many people ignore, but your intuition is rarely wrong.
- Talk to your dates before going out to make sure there is no doubt or question of their intentions.
- If going out with a person for the first time, tell friends who you are going to be with and where.
- Never put your drink down and leave it unattended (“date rape” drugs can be slipped into drinks easily).
- If you don’t want to do something, then don’t do it. It is your right, so assert your right and make your feelings known, even if it causes a scene.
- Do not invite someone into your home or go home with someone you do not trust; most date rapes occur in these common places.
The biggest deterrent to sexual assault is to never put yourself in a position where you do not feel safe. Listen to your instincts and if things do not feel right, leave immediately and go to a safe place.
Being aware of your own capabilities, strengths, and limitations is very important and could be your best weapon for survival. Remember to always, above all else, remain alert and aware of your surroundings.