10 Ways to Prevent Sexual Assault

When my friend L posted a link about ways to prevent sexual assault, I have to admit that I rolled my eyes. As someone who volunteers with a rape crisis center, I’ve heard all kinds of oh-so-helpful “tips” that really just reinforce myths about sexual assault. However, L is a very intelligent feminist so I (cautiously!) clicked on the link. I was pleasantly surprised by the 10 Ways to Prevent Sexual Assault re-posted on Feminist Philosophers (and originally from Feminist Law Professors).

These tips may seem very obvious – but if this is so obvious, why is it that that around 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted (this varies depending on where you get your statistics, and is also based on reported sexual assaults)?  While I agree that these are some great tips, I personally think that they move beyond preventing sexual assault and are ways to improve relationships in general (see tip #8 “Always be honest with people!” and mentions communicating intentions). As the list mentions, feel free to post these tips and distribute where people might read them.

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About Holly Moyseenko

Holly Moyseenko is a sex educator living in Ohio. She is an advocate of positive and healthy sexuality. Holly currently works for a non-profit health organization as a health educator, and also teaches workshops that focus on many topics within the realm of healthy sexuality. In her spare time, she also is an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, gardens, reads anything within reach, drinks copious amounts of tea, and naps with her two dogs.

  • Alex H

    You don’t see the disconnect between this post and your next one? You should chalk this one up to rape myths too.

    Let’s start with the needs-to-be-repeated-more bit.

    You are unlikely to be raped by:
    The guy in the dark alley
    The guy passing you on the street
    The guy in the elevator
    The guy at the laundromat
    The guy walking down the street who is unobserved and thus free to check your doors and windows

    You are much more likely to be raped by:
    Uncle Jim
    Craig, the bad boy with swagger you’re attracted to
    Larry, the clingy ex-boyfriend
    Bill, the supervisor who can’t take a hint.

    The risk does not lie substantially with the amorphous “them,” yet we continue to perpetuate stories that we should fear “those men,” the strangers who we see when we’re vulnerable. These stories leave women vigilant against imaginary risks, and do nothing to help with real risks. What, besides widespread distrust, could this possible accomplish?

  • A Ghost

    This reminds me of a similar post that I read where each sentence ended in “Don’t rape her”. For example, “If a woman is stranded in her car on the side of the road … Don’t rape her.” “If a woman bends down to pick up the pen that she just dropped … Don’t rape her.” Etc.

    These posts are really aimed at men. The aim of those types of posts is to sarcastically inform a man that he shouldn’t be a rapist. Which does about as good as sending Hitler a letter with 10 sarcastic reasons why he shouldn’t kill Jewish people.

    Really, when it comes down to it, certain men are going to sexually assault women no matter how psychologically tricky you get with them. Trying to short out the sexual or dominance part of their brain with shaming or tricky sentences will have zero effect. I have seen quite a few statistics that claim that many of your neighbors may be sociopaths. (The Sociopath Next Door.) No empathy comes from such people.

    So, in the end, women can’t expect empathy from men who aren’t capable. Just this year, there have been 3 high profile cases of women who got killed while being alone with absolutely no weapons and no knowledge of how to maim / kill someone. I am convinced that if guys who attacked women were to suddenly find pokey metal objects suddenly penetrating their lungs, they probably would no longer be in the mood to sexual assault and kill a woman as they would be too busy trying to push their own blood back into their wounds.