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Sexual assault prevention and awareness Sexual assault prevention and awareness
by Joseph Gatt
2020-12-12 11:19:40
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Common misconception: rape and sexual assault takes place in the streets or at the workplace. Happens sometimes, but very rare.

Below are the most common scenarios for tragic sexual assault and rape cases. For information and prevention purposes.

Cases not in statistical order.

ass001_400Case 1: The guy (or very rarely a girl) who invites you to a “party.”

So you're a girl. Your good friend, or acquaintance, let's call him John, invites you to a party on Friday night at his place. He says vaguely that “lots of people will be attending.” He might even cite names of the people attending.

You go to John's place. John opens the door. No music. No noise. Just him in the house. John tells you something like “you're the first one to show up! Privilege of the first!” and you sit down nervously.

In some cases John might say something weird like “everyone cancelled at the last minute.” Or John might say “everyone's going to show up after the game.”

So it's just the two of you.

This is, I believe, the most common scenario for sexual assault and attempted rape, or rape cases.

Prevention: if John (or anyone) invites you to a party, and you're not 100% sure who's attending, use the “buddy system” and show up with a friend or two (or three).

Case 2: The guy (or very rarely the girl) wants to “show you something” at their place.

Important note: because rapists tend to avoid crowded places, most sexual assault and rape cases happen in places where there are no witnesses, usually inside a house or apartment, which makes investigation very complicated, because rapists usually claim that there was “consent.”

So you're at a bar, or at a party, or in school with John. You have a long conversation about art, or collection items, or computers, or technology, or anything really.

John wants to “show you” something very specific at his place, like his “art collection” or his “super-computer.”

You show up to John's place. There is no art collection, and it's just a regular laptop or desktop.

Prevention: rapists usually use these tricks on their prey. So rule number 1: don't rush to see “John's collection.” Delay the appointment to next week or something. Rule number 2: buddy system, take a friend with you to John's place to see this art collection of his. If he really wants to show you his art collection, he also wants to show it to your friends.

Case 3: The guy (or very rarely the girl) wants you to see his super-mansion in Beverly Hills or some fancy place like that.

Same trap. You're discussing housing. Friend tells you he owns a great house in a great neighborhood and wants you to see it.

Same advice, take a few friends with you to see that house.

Case 4: The guy (rarely a girl) will “give you a ride home” but “we'll stop at my place first.”

The guy offers to give you a car ride to your house. You're driving in your house's direction. Suddenly the guy says something like “we have to go to my place first, there's something urgent I need to take care of.”

If that happens, tell the guy you need to get out of the car right now. Or wait for a minute before you tell the guy to drop you at the corner because you have an emergency as well.

Either way, if the guy's kind enough to give you a ride, he should be kind enough to give your friend a ride as well.

Case 5: The guy (rarely a girl) wants you to “study” or “work on the project” at his place.

Classic. The guy (or girl) wants to work on the project at his place or hotel room.

In any case, make sure you have classmates/colleagues as witnesses in those situations.

Case 6: The guy has an emergency and wants you to come to his place immediately.

The guy probably knows that you can fix something, or that you're a nurse or a doctor, or that you're an expert at something, and calls you claiming there's an emergency and you need to come to his house fast.

I'd either suggest he call someone else, or claim that I'm busy, or find some kind of excuse. I mean, why me and not someone else?

Case 7: You just attended a party. Everyone left. Guy calls you when the party ends and says that you “forgot something” or that he “forgot to tell you something.”

Don't go back to his party. Wait until the next day or next couple of days to find an arrangement to pick up the forgotten item. Or if he wants to tell you something, that can wait.

Case 8: Guy invites you to follow him blindly.

This case is also very, very common. It's usually a guy who is not very talkative, in a group setting where the group is rather tight-knit.

So you trust the guy because he's a close member of the group. Guy wants to see you without saying why, and without saying where.

You blindly follow the guy, and end up at some house or some weird place in the woods or in the forest or some quiet place like that.

Tip: don't follow the weird guy.


There are many other cases of course, some involving kidnappings in the streets and so on, which are quite rare, but do happen.

I just wanted to clear the misconception that it's girls who wear shorts or mini-skirts who get assaulted or raped in the streets or at night clubs or something. It's usually not the “guys in the hood” who savagely assault women (or men) like that.

The warning signs usually go like this. Rape and sexual assault tend to happen really fast. If a man (or a woman) invites you to their house (or asks you to come to your place) in a hurried manner (without giving you too much time to think) that's a huge warning sign.

The second huge warning sign is that the guy with the improvised invitation is a guy you don't know very well, that you just met last week, or that you never really hung out with.  

Rapists usually invite their preys’ home hours before the assault takes place. So if a guy tells you in the morning or afternoon that he wants you to come to his place in the evening, you could be tempted to be polite and kind and say “yes.” But that's a trap.

It's a trap because rapists tend to know that if they give you too much time to think about the invitation, chances are you won't show up to his place (or they won't show up to yours).

If you say “yes” to the improvised invitation and then change your mind, the guy is usually going to be upset and make you feel bad about your change of mind. Either come up with an excuse, or call a couple of friends, or a few friends and ask them to join in. If none of your friends can join in, take the midnight express and go home, or hide somewhere.

Who tend to be the victims of rape and sexual assault? There is no typical profile. Male and female (yes, men can be the victims of sexual assault). Old and young. Liberal and conservative. All ethnicities, creeds, shapes, sizes, beliefs, diets, and education levels and everything else.

Final note: what about sexual harassment? Sexual harassment and sexual assault are two very different things.

Sexual harassment usually involves unwanted sexual comments or behaviors towards men or women. Could be mockery, could be inappropriate invitations, could be asking for a “sexual bribe”, could be inappropriate compliments, could be orders from a boss or professor to dress a certain way, could be being forced to perform some kind of dance, could be forcing someone to have inappropriate conversations, could be inappropriate touching or gestures or winking and the like.

And sexual harassment usually takes place in circumstances where the victim has no other choice than to show up and confront her (or his) predator's behavior. Because they work together, or because they study together or share housing together and the like.

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