I’ve read some depressing information about rape including how gang rape in India is a routine occurrence and women in the US are going public to force changes in the abysmal rates for arrest and prosecution of perpetrators.

A survey of more than 10,000 men carried out in six Asian countries published in The Lancet Global Health journal in September found that, when the word rape was not used as part of a questionnaire, more than one in 10 men in the region admitted to forcing sex on a woman who was not their partner. 73 percent said the reason was entitlement. 59 percent said their motivation was entertainment seeking.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the organizations that operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline offers Tips to Stay Safe:

Trust your gut & be true to yourself. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Take control of your online life. Be mysterious online and think twice before you share personal information. Remember: If you would not share the information with a stranger, then you shouldn’t share it online.

Make others earn your trust. Don’t assume that your new friends will definitely have your back or be looking out for your best interests.

If you see something, say something. If a situation seems questionable, speak up and alert others around you to it. By intervening you can prevent a crime from being committed.

Be aware & stay alert to what is going on around you. Take well-trafficked routes and avoid being isolated with someone that you don’t know or trust.

Make plans & be prepared. When going out, always have a designated sober friend in the group, even if they won’t be driving. Be sure to check that you have everything you need before you leave — a fully charged phone, the number for a reliable cab company, enough cash to get you home, etc. Keep your phone on you at all times in case you find yourself if an uncomfortable or dangerous situation.

Party smart. Guard your drink at parties. Don’t accept one from people you don’t trust or know well. Stick to drinks you got or prepared yourself. If you happen to walk away from it, get a new one. Keep track of what you’ve consumed so that you can stay in control. If you feel like you’re getting sick or are too intoxicated, ask to help you get to a safe place or to a hospital.

Be a good friend. Watch out for each other. Stick together in groups, especially when traveling from one place to the next. If a friend is acting in a way that seems out of character, take notice. If he or she is overly intoxicated or seems to need assistance, get them to a safe place and support them. If you suspect that a friend has been drugged or needs medical attention because of over-intoxication or for any other reason, call 911.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Talk to someone who understands what you’re going through. Help is just a call or click away: 1-800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org.

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