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Safety suggestions for women and men

Experts with the Rape Victim Advocacy Program and the UI Women’s Resource and Action Center offer the following tips to UI faculty, staff, students, and the general public.

What women can do

Program 911 into your phone using the Speed Dial feature and assign it No. 9. If you are uncomfortable or need help, push 9 immediately. 911 calls work from all phones, even if they are from another town or state (the signal bounces to the closest 911). If you haven’t programmed 911 into your phone, call 911 or press the button on a Code Blue Phone if you feel you are in a dangerous situation.

If someone you know assaults you, or if someone is stalking you, call the Rape Crisis Line at 319-335-6000 (24 hours).

Trust your gut and intuition. If you feel uncomfortable or feel at risk, leave the situation immediately and go to a safe place like an open business or a home where there are lights on.

Attend parties with friends you can trust. Agree to look out for one another. Try to leave with a group instead of walking alone or with someone you don’t know really well. Alcohol is the No. 1 acquaintance rape drug, and 85 percent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.

Be aware of predatory drugs. Don’t leave your drink unattended or take any beverages from someone you do not know well or from a punch bowl from which only women are drinking (while men are drinking beer).

Try to walk with someone else. Walk confidently and pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid dark places at night, if possible and avoid walking alone and talking on a cell phone.

When giving someone a ride, wait to see them safely inside.

When identifying someone, remember to use all of your senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

What men can do

Walk with female friends to make sure they get home safely, especially if they have been drinking.

Work with other men on confronting disrespectful, controlling, or woman-hating attitudes or behavior in other men.

If you drink, know your limits and stay sober enough to make good decisions, especially about sexual activity.

Know the law. If a woman says “no” at any time to sexual behavior or indicates in any way that she is not consenting (e.g., not reciprocating or participating), abide by her wishes. If you don’t, you are committing a felony.

If you see something suspicious—someone following a woman, acting strange, or if you see a woman being harassed or attacked—call 911 immediately.

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