3.3
November 11, 2008

Date Rape, Rape, Sexual Assault is all too common. Resources: how to stay Safe.

 

Latest update the day after Donald Trump is elected as U.S. President. ~ ed.

via Reddit:

As a Black voter, I think I can speak for everyone right now by saying I’m fucking terrified.

And my heart goes out to the women and victims of sexual assault of this country, I don’t know what to say but we failed you… a mufucker who uses his power to molest women is now the most powerful man on earth…

Liz Strand on Twitter: “People ask why women don’t report sexual assault. You got your answer: a man can have double digit accusers & still be elected President.”

Update. NY Times Reviews:  ‘The Hunting Ground’ Documentary, a Searing Look at Campus Rape. Trailer:

~

Note:

Please share these safety tips with your lovers, friends and sisters and brothers. It is not the responsibility of anyone to stay safe from rape. It is the rapists’ responsibility not to rape. But these tips can make the difference:

Update: a dear friend of mine just got forcibly date-raped. I’m furious and heartbroken. Needless to say, but as a journalist I need to say: I believe her 100%—she’s a grounded, sweet human being. She’s the epitome of what we want as a society—a child who grew into a woman and yet never became shamed her own exuberant, sexy, silly, dorky sweetey self. She told me and we hugged a lot, though we were in public with friends at a party. I wish this never happened to anyone. She needs to call the police, still. Her mother knows, her friends know. It’s not her responsibility—or yours, or hers—to stay safe. It is the sole responsibility of those who would force themselves on others not to do so. But these tips can help our friends and sisters to stay safe.

~

I am angry and heartbroken that we live in a world where the most beautiful opening fun intimate thing is a frequent target of aggressive cowards. If you and I can achieve anything in our lives, may a part of our work and play be to educate would-be date-rapists, and protect would-be women and men who might go through such an experience.

~

Update: The other night I was on a date. We went to a big dinner party, had a nice time, then went on to another friend’s party.

At a dinner party, a good friend of mine, slightly intoxicated, invited my date on a tour of the house, took her into a room, closed the door…and tried to make out with her.

I didn’t know about it until, close to an hour later, she blurted out what had happened, obviously and understandably upset, in the middle of a conversation with another friend about music.

The gent who tried to make his moves was a good friend of mine.

When my date and I walked home, at one point I turned to her and said, “It must be such a pain being a woman. Every night you go out, guys try and kiss you.” There’s a flattering aspect to the attention—as long as that attention is respectful. There’s a sleazy aspect to that attention when it’s not asked for.

The situation reminded me that even good people, my good friend, especially when slightly intoxicated and such, can become jerks. And we were lucky—my date was an empowered young woman who took control and got out of that room and back to the party.

Leaving the party, my friend came up to us and, unashamedly, admitted his attempt to my face.

While this instance was among friends, and nothing bad happened, it brought home the importance of the original post below. We need to be public about this stuff. We need to share these resources on our Facebook Walls, twitter, however we can. Not just when something bad happens. Before. Then, something bad may happen less.

Because date rape, sexual assault, rape—it’s the worst thing in the world.

~ W.

Previous update:

This is now an old post, but has some good resources on how to stay safe, particularly for those in college, so we’ll leave it up. Please note however that any references to incidents below are now dated. ~ed.

Update: I was working with my ad assistant, Lindsey, yesterday—when she mentioned that, as a CU student (she’s a senior) they get constant updates on rapes occurring in the Boulder area. She said something like one a week’s been happening. I was shocked. I thought that, following the below two rapes a month back, things had again returned to ‘safe’ and ‘normal.’ So I went to the Colorado Daily web site, searched ‘rape,’ and only found mention of one date rape incident—but it was horrific.

So please, please: read the below, pass it on: let’s take every precaution, walk your friends home at night, don’t take drinks from strangers, if you are walking home at night in the dark (which starts at 5pm right now, for chrissake) keep your head up and body language strong. Don’t listen to an iPod. Be alert, and remember to never go to a ‘second location’ with a creepy stranger, always stay in public, scream and kick and bite if you have to. It’s scary stuff, but the fact is if we can stay strong and not freeze in fear or ignore the horrible things going on, we can hopefully prevent more tragedy.

Boulder’s a lovely, safe town with a low crime rate and nice people. By day. By night, it’s a college town full of lovely people who don’t take precautions against sexual predators. There’s been two sexual assualts in the last week, one a gang rape in an alley on Halloween night around 2am, half a block from an ex-girlfriend of mine’s home. And one yesterday a block east of the Wild Oats where I shop every other day.

Anyone with information on any of the crimes is urged to contact Boulder Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or 1-800-444-3776, or at the Crime Stoppers Web site at http://www.crimeshurt.com.

One in six women are raped, on average. One of the loves of my life was raped—once at knifepoint when she was young, once by an ex-boyfriend. It’s a subject that inspires fear and anger, and rightly so—it’s something I hope everyone will talk about, email this blog to your friends, get smart about and work to prevent on governmental and on a personal level—meaning make sure your friends, and yourself, get home safe whenever you go out on the town (below there’s also info about date rape, which is frequent and underreported).

General Advice:

Stage One: don’t drink anything offered to you, and keep control of what you are drinking—you don’t want any date rape drugs.

Don’t walk home alone, even a block from a parked car. Have a buddy see you home safe. Stay sober. Pack some mace in your purse. Avoid bike path at night, since we here in Boulder can’t seem to keep policemen or policewomen patrolling the ill-lit bike path (I bike it every day, and never see police except in two spots where they check in with homeless folks who gather; and I don’t think I’ve ever seen police on bikes patrolling at night, and there’s huge three-block stretches without lights).

Stage Two: take a self-defense class. Fact is any man who’s gonna assault you has to make himself pretty vulnerable at moments—if you can keep your head, or avoid getting knocked out as did a woman last night(one block from the Wild Oats now Whole Foods where I just bought ice cream and dog food 20 minutes ago).

Stage Three: talk about it. Tell your friends about incidents and help them to be on guard—this is one thing worth freaking out about, and acting on (I plan on going to next City Council meeting and seeing if we can afford more patrols on the bike path and more lights).

Any other info, please post below in the COMMENT section, with links or advice.

Below, an excerpt from a site with lots of good info. Click here to go to site.

Although it’s often not discussed, sexual assault is pervasive in our community. In Colorado, approximately one in four females and one in 17 males are survivors of sexual assault. The frightening statistics extend far beyond Colorado. According to the World Health Organization, 20 percent of women and 5 to 10 percent of men were sexually abused in childhood. One out of every four or five college women in the United States will be sexually assaulted during her college career. Help must be made available to survivors and action must be taken in order to prevent sexual assault. This is why MESA (Moving to End Sexual Assault) has been serving Boulder County since 1972.

Here’s another aimed at college students.


Info from another site:
Female college freshmen are at the highest risk for sexual assault between the first day of school and Thanksgiving break.
In a 1-year time period, 3% of college women are victims of completed or attempted rape.
1 out of 10 college women have been raped in their lifetime.
For women who have been raped in college, 9 out of 10 offenders were known to the victim.
Sexual assaults in college are more likely to occur at night and in someone’s residence (either the victim’s or the offender’s).
90% of campus rapes involve alcohol use by the assailant or the victim.
Although women are more likely to be sexually assaulted, 10% of all sexual assaults and rapes happen to men. Click here for more information on male victims of sexual assault.

Respect the rights of others.

Listen to the messages your partner is giving. Be sensitive to both verbal and nonverbal communication. Ask. Double check that you both are doing what you want.

The absence of the word “no” does not constitute consent. Make sure you have consent by asking your partner what they want to do. If your partner seems confused or unsure, it’s time to stop.

Remember that having done something sexual previously is not a blanket “yes” for the future.

Remember that your partner can change “yes” to “no” at any time. Respect their choice.

Know which behaviors constitute rape and sexual assault, and understand that most incidents happen between people who know each other.

If you choose to drink, be responsible. Alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk of sexual assault.

Never slip anyone any type of drug. Not only is this illegal, but you don’t know what effect a drug can have on someone.
Keep yourself safer.
Think about what you really want from a partner before a possibly uncomfortable or dangerous situation occurs.

Communicate clearly. You have the right to say “no” or “I’m not sure.”

Go to a party with friends, not alone. Keep track of your friends and leave with them. Don’t leave alone or with someone you don’t know well.

If you choose to drink, be responsible. Alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk of sexual assault.

Know what’s in your drink, whether it’s non-alcoholic or contains alcohol. Open the can yourself, make your drink yourself or watch it being made, and don’t leave your drink unattended. Avoid punch bowls–you have no idea how much alcohol is in them, and since date rape drugs are odorless, colorless and tasteless they can be added to punch without anyone knowing. Follow this link for more information on date rape drugs
Know which behaviors constitute sexual assault and rape. Understand that most incidents occur between people who know each other.
If something happens, get help. When going to a party with friends, keep track of each other while you’re there. Plan to leave together and don’t let anyone leave alone.

If a friend decides to leave a party with someone else, talk to them about their safety. If you are worried about someone, it’s ok to try to protect them from harm.
Learn more about sexual assault and rape and how to help a friend who may have been assaulted.

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Waylon Lewis  |  1.9k Followers