Personal Safety Guide

Personal Safety Guide for Men and Women

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Office of Student Affairs

University of Alaska Anchorage


Sexual assault is a concern in today’s world. Every 45 seconds an adult woman is raped in the United States. The University of Alaska Anchorage promotes a three-pronged theory to aid in your fight against sexual assault:

Know the Facts Be aware of the facts about rape and other sexual assaults.

Risk Reduction Make your surroundings more secure against an attack.

Resistance Learn how to defend yourself against an attack, and what to do if you are attacked.

Know the Facts

  • Rape is an act of power, anger, and hostility. It is not a crime of passion.
  • 80% of all rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they are 18 years of age.
  • 75% of male students and 55% of female students involved in acquaintance rape had been drinking or using drugs.
  • 10% of rape victims are men.
  • 1 in 4 college women have either been raped or suffered attempted rape.
  • Nearly 6 out of 10 rapes occur in the victim’s home or the friend of a friend, relative, or neighbor.

Risk Reduction

In Your Residence....

  • Lock all of your doors and windows. Use deadbolts, solid core doors, and a door viewer.
  • List only your first initial and last name on bills, your mailbox, and in the telephone book.
  • Keep the outside of your residence well lit. Know who is at your door before opening it.
  • Demand identification from anyone you don’t know. If a stranger asks to use your telephone, offer to place the call yourself rather than inviting them into your residence.
  • Do not give personal information over the telephone. Never reveal your telephone number to a wrong number caller.
  • Never let strangers know you are home alone. If you suspect someone is in your home, leave and go to the nearest telephone and call the police.

In Public…

  • Never walk alone; rather, get on a “buddy system.”
  • Avoid poorly lit streets, alleys, parking lots, and wooded areas.
  • Walk close to the curb facing the street. Avoid areas of concealment such as shrubs, trees, and building entrances.
  • Be alert of your surroundings; don’t be overconfident.
  • If someone is following you, create a disturbance and run toward an open building.
  • Don’t sleep on public transportation.
  • Attackers prefer passive victims, so walk with a steady pace and appear purposeful.
  • When leaving a building, look around the area outside before exiting the building.
  • You may wish to carry a whistle or a chemical spray.

In Your Vehicle…

  • Have your keys in hand as you approach the car.
  • Keep your windows up and doors locked at all times.
  • From a distance, look around and underneath your vehicle before approaching.
  • Check the back seat and floor before entering your car.
  • Make sure you have enough gasoline.
  • If you are involved in a small incident, stay in your vehicle, open your window slightly, and pass the information through the crack.
  • If your vehicle breaks down, raise the hood and wait in your locked vehicle. If someone approaches to help, ask them to call the police.
  • If you are being followed, drive to a police station, a convenience store, or a well lit, highly populated area.

When Dating…

  • No one has the right to force you to have sex with them no matter how much money he or she has spent on you, or even if you have had sex before.
  • Never accept a ride or lodging from someone you just met–no matter how nice he or she seems.
  • The use of alcohol and/or drugs can seriously impair your judgement. If you intend to participate in these activities, have a “buddy system” worked out with someone you can rely on.
  • Be aware that ineffective communication can lead to serious misunderstandings. Don’t give confusing signals. If you mean no, say “NO” and act accordingly.
  • If you become uncomfortable, trust yourself. It’s okay to be direct with someone who is sexually pressuring you, even if it hurts his or her feelings.
  • When going on a date, especially with someone new, make sure someone knows who you are with, where you are going, and what time you will be back. If it’s a first date, you may want to suggest a double date.

Resistance

In approximately 75% of the total reported attacks, the victim used a form of resistance that was successful; however, there are not 10 easy steps to perfect self defense. Plan your own unique defense geared to your perceptions, capabilities, and what you are willing to do. How you use your defense plan will vary with the situation.

Some attackers become more aggressive if you fight back, and some if you plead. If you decide to fight, fight hard. You have the best chance of escaping if you resist when first attacked. You may decide to submit in order to save your life or avoid physical injury. Submission is NOT consent. Remember – your goal is to survive!

Getting Help After a Rape…

  1. Go to a safe place.
  2. Call the police immediately.
  3. Call a friend or family member to be with you.
  4. Preserve all physical evidence. Don’t shower, bathe, douche, use the bathroom, change, or destroy your clothes.
  5. Do not disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred.
  6. Seek treatment at a hospital. The Sexual Assault Response Team (S.A.R.T.) in Anchorage includes trained personnel from Providence Hospital, the Anchorage Police Department, and Standing Together Against Rape (S.T.A.R.). The team provides medical/legal examinations, information and referral, advocacy, and criminal justice services.

Surviving a rape may bring feelings of anger, shame, helplessness, depression, revenge, and denial. Approximately one-third of rape survivors experience rape-related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder sometime in their lifetime. This can affect intimate relationships, sleeping and eating habits, and trust in other people for years after the assault. Seeking professional counseling may help you regain your self confidence and strength. You don’t have to face this alone. Finding someone to talk to is the most important part of the recovery process.

Campus Resources:

University Police:  786-1120 V/TTY

Student Development Counseling and Support Services:  786-6158 V/TTY

Dean of Students Office:  786-1214 V/TTY

Residence Life:  751-7444 V/TTY

Student Health and Counseling Center:  786-4040 V/TTY

Community Resources:

Anchorage Standing Together Against Rape (S.T.A.R.) Crisis Line:  276-7273

Anchorage Community Mental Health Services Crisis Line:  563-3200

Homer - South Peninsula Haven House Crisis Line:  235-8943

Kenai - The LeeShore Center Crisis Line:  283-7257

Kodiak - Women's Resource and Crisis Center Crisis Line:  486-3625

Mat-Su - Alaska Family Services Crisis Line:  746-8026

Local Police:

Anchorage Police Department:  786-8500 or 561-4668 TTY

Homer Police:  235-3150

Soldotna Police:  262-4455

Kodiak Police:  486-8000

Alaska State Troopers:  745-2131