Follow these tips to keep yourself from becoming a statistic:
- Be aware of your surroundings Don't talk on your phone or listen to your iPod when in a public place. Pay attention to what's going on around you. If you think someone is following you, cross the street or step into a store.
- Be car smart Predators target parking lots and cars. Have your keys in your hand before you leave the building. For extra protection hold a few of them in between your fingers to use as a weapon if needed. Wait until you are close to your car to unlock it. If you unlock it from across the lot, someone can easily hop in and hide without you noticing.
- Use your strengths against their vulnerabilities Use hard body parts such as elbows, knees, fists, feet, legs, and knuckles to attack. Aim directly to one of the five weak spots: Eyes, nose, neck, knees and groin. You can also use everyday objects like keys or a pen to do more damage.
- Get loud and push back As soon as the attacker touches you or it's clear that escape isn't possible, shout loudly and push back at him or her. This does two things: it signals for help and it lets the attacker know you're not an easy target.
- Take an opportunity to run If you've identified a good time to run away from the confrontation, do it. Escaping is always better than confronting, and these opportunities will not present themselves a second time.
If that isn't possible, look the person straight in the face and ask what time it is. By being unafraid, you show that you will stand up for yourself and fight back if attacked. You can also now identify this person in a line up and this makes you a less desirable target.
Walk wide around building corners to avoid getting jumped.
Check your backseat before you enter your car. If a van or suspicious vehicle is parked on the driver's side of your car, get in on the passenger's side. The safest option would be to never walk to your car alone. If no one is leaving when you are, ask someone to walk you to your car.
Once you're in the car, lock the doors and start driving. Sitting in your car too long gives predators the opportunity to make their move.
So how do rapists pick their victims? Ted Oberg searched for those answers inside Texas prisons.