According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network — RAINN -- someone somewhere in the United States is being assaulted every two and a half minutes. That is some pretty scary statistics, but some simple precautions could lessen your chances of being a victim
Knowing that a crime could happen is the first step toward protecting yourself. Trust your feelings. Remember, your intuition is a powerful thing and if that little voice tells you that something is wrong, trust that it is. Some of the following may seem a little drastic, but your safety is the most important thing.
Park near lights at night. Have keys in hand when leaving building for car, or leaving car for building. Keep away from isolated areas, and be sure to check the backseat of your car before you get in, and lock the doors when you drive. Be aware or your surroundings, and keep your car in good running condition to avoid breakdowns. Should your car break down, attach a white cloth to the antenna and lock yourself in.
When taking public transportation, avoid dark subway stations. Stay near the conductor at all times. Although he may not be able to help you personally, he can send out a radio alert which will bring help.
In bars or restaurants, never leave your drinks unattended, and don't let someone else get drinks for you. Date with friends until you feel comfortable with a new date. Never leave a bar or party with someone you have just met, and do not let yourself become isolated from others.
Walking in a hesitant and unsure way signals fear and timidity. That's a lesson I learned the first night I moved to New York City. Three hours in, and I was mugged. I was ready to turn around and head back home when the hotel manager gave me some advice that sticks with me today. "Always look like your belong. When you show a lack of confidence in yourself, you become an attractive target for criminals". Don't inhibit your movement with platform shoes or carry too many packages. Stay away from bushes and parked cars; walk in the center of the sidewalk or road. Don't get too close to doorways, bushes, or alleys where an attacker could hide.Vary your routines; alternate routes home.
Do not work late alone; keep company with others.
Never carry your mail in plain view; it gives anybody who looks the gift of your name and address. Never let someone know that you are a woman alone. Always pretend there is a man at home if someone calls. Use deadbolts on your doors and window locks. Keep your radio, on. Never open door to strangers, and above all, always require ID of service or repair people. If something looks wrong or different when you come home, do not enter; instead go to a safe place and call police.
The most significant thing you can do to protect yourself from rape is to take a women's self-defense course.
Use deadbolts; window locks; peep holes; timers for lights, radio, TV, and outside security lights.