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Tips To Prevent Date Rape

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Tips To Prevent Date Rape

Rapists are not always strangers or anonymous attackers. When someone you know - a date, steady boyfriend, casual friend or partner - forces you to have sex, it's still rape.

The Bureau of Justice reports that seven out of 10 victims of sexual assault know their attacker.

Preventing Date Rape

There are several things you can do to protect yourself when you are dating:

  • Do not let alcohol or other drugs decrease or interfere with your ability to take care of yourself and make sensible decisions.

  • Do not accept beverages from someone you don't know and trust. Always watch your drink and never leave it unattended, at any time.

  • Follow your instincts. If a place or the way your date acts makes you nervous or uneasy, get out. If you need to call a friend to escort you home, don't hesitate to do so.

  • Check out a first date or a blind date with friends. Meet in and go to public places. Don't leave a social event with someone you have just met or don't know well.

  • Carry money for a phone call, taxi, ride sharing service or, better yet, take your own car.

  • Have a personal protection app like Virtual Halo on your smartphone so you can let your emergency contacts know if you’re in a dangerous position along with your exact location.

What to do when someone you care about has been sexually assaulted

When supporting a survivor of sexual violence, don't be judgmental or take control away from the victim. Try to communicate the following ideas to the victim which will greatly assist healing.

  • "I'm glad you're alive."

  • "It's not your fault."

  • "I'm sorry it happened."

  • "You did the best you could."

The following guidelines will also help to build a sense of trust and safety in the survivor.

  • Let the victim make his/her choices

  • Be a good listener.

  • Try to minimize the number of times the victim must tell what happened.

  • Always respect the survivor's confidentiality.

If you have been raped...

  • Get medical attention as soon as possible.

  • Do not shower, wash, douche or change your clothes. Valuable evidence could be destroyed.

  • Don't isolate yourself. Don't feel guilty and don't try to ignore it. Rape is a crime and should be reported.

  • Get counseling to deal with the emotional trauma.

  • Call your nearest rape crisis center.

If you think you've been assaulted while under the influence of a drug such as Rohyponol or GHB, seek help immediately, try not to urinate before providing urine samples, and, if possible, collect any glasses from which you drank.

What are "date rape" drugs?

Rohyponol ("roofies," "roopies," "circles," "the forget pills") works like a tranquilizer. It causes muscle weakness, fatigue, slurred speech, loss of motor coordination and judgment, and amnesia that lasts up to 24 hours. They look like an aspirin - small, white and round - and are colorless and flavorless. When dissolved in liquids, they can take effect in as little as 20 minutes.

GHB (also known as "liquid X," "salt water," or "scoop") also causes quick sedation. Its side effects include drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, coma and death. The drugs most common form is a clear liquid, although it can also be a white, grainy powder.

Both of these powerful sedatives are illegal if possessed in New York State, especially if used in the commission of a sexual assault.

If you think you've been assaulted while under the influence of Rohypnol or GHB, seek help immediately. Try to save your urine in a clean glass container, as well as any glasses from which you may have drank.

Rohyponol and GHB are called the date rape drugs because when they are slipped into someone's drink, a sexual assault can take place without the victim being able to remember what happened.

The myths - The truth

  • "It can't happen to me." 
    Anyone can be sexually assaulted. Studies show that victims range in age from infancy to people in their nineties, and include people from every racial, economic, religious and social background. Each minute, 1.3 women are raped (National Victim Center and Center for Crime Victims Treatment and Research, 1992).

  • "She asked for it." 
    No one asks to be sexually assaulted. Nor does anyone's behavior justify or excuse the crime. People have a right to be safe from a sexual violation at any time and place, and under any circumstance. The offender, not the victim, is responsible for their actions.

  • "Most offenders are men who differ from the victim in race or ethnicity." 
    Over 90% of sexual assaults occur between people of the same racial or ethnic background.

  • "Most sexual assaults are committed by strangers at night in out-of-the-way places." 
    Familiar people and places are more dangerous. As many as 80% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows (FBI statistics). Over 50% of sexual assaults occur in the home and as many occur during the daytime as happen at night.

  • "Only women can be raped." 
    The FBI estimates that as many as one in ten men are victims of sexual assault. Other researchers estimate that between one in four and one in seven male children are sexually abused.

Resources:

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Keep Your Data Safe While Traveling Overseas

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Keep Your Data Safe While Traveling Overseas

Whether at home or abroad there are a lot of cybersecurity threats that can put you and your personal data at risk, but this threat is even more perilous when you travel overseas. What steps have you taken to keep your data safe? Here are five key things you should be doing to protect against cyber security threats:

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1. Change Your Passwords

Before you travel abroad, change all of your passwords on all of your devices. Your passwords should never be simple, like “password,” or use personally-identifying information, such as your name, birthdate, etc. Instead, opt for passwords that are at least eight characters long and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. When possible, you should also enable two-factor authentication.

2. Enable Auto-Delete

In the event that your device is stolen or misplaced, you want to have an extra safety measure in place. Make sure you enable auto-delete, a feature that will automatically erase all of the data in your device if someone incorrectly enters the password a set number of times.

3. Look for Anti-Theft Software

As an added level of protection, download anti-theft software to all of your devices. This software should allow you to remotely lock your device in the event that is it lost or stolen so you can take steps from there to locate it or erase all of your personal data. And while you’re downloading, make sure you’re only enabling apps that protect your personal information, like Virtual Halo.

4. Disable WiFi Auto-Connect

You should only connect to WiFi when you know it is safe and secure, no matter where you are on the map; but especially in foreign territory you want to be extra careful. Before you leave home soil, make sure you disable WiFi auto-connect features so you have to manually connect. If you know you will need to access sensitive data overseas, search for a secure VPN connection you can temporarily use.

5. Turn Off Bluetooth Connectivity

Along the same lines as WiFi, you want to turn off your Bluetooth connectivity. Cyberthreats can instantaneously seize opportunities to access your personal data through either WiFi or Bluetooth, so keep them out by turning it off altogether.

6. Keep Your Devices with You at All Times

Modern society is practically glued to their smart devices, but as a reminder: always keep your devices with you and in your sight. It only takes a second for them to go missing!

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Improve Your Health By Focusing On Your Personal Safety

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Improve Your Health By Focusing On Your Personal Safety

There are plenty of potentially dangerous health risks that people routinely avoid every day. But if you want to keep your personal health in check, it’s a good idea to start with your safety. When you feel safe, you feel comfortable, which naturally reduces your stress levels. And since stress can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease, keeping your mind and body relaxed and as stress-free as possible is one of the keys to leading a healthy, fulfilling life.

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Personal Safety = Less Stress = Better Health

How are you keeping yourself healthy? When you think of health, your first inclination may be to imagine running, eating well or even practicing yoga; but do you consider your mental well-being? Your surroundings have been shown to have an impact on your mental state. When you feel safe, you feel comfortable and your mind is at ease, but when you don’t feel safe, your adrenaline races through your veins, putting your mind and body on high alert in preparation for the fight or flight response. This puts stress on your body both mentally and physically, which is why taking care of your personal safety is actually an integral part of being healthy.

Stay Alert to Avoid Danger

To stay safe, start by trusting your instinct; it’s usually very accurate. If a situation feels dangerous or you think there’s something off, there’s a reason why. Get to safety as quickly as possible and call for help. And always try to rely on the buddy system when you’re traveling to new areas or going on an adventure, like camping or hiking. Whether your buddy is another friend, family member or even your dog, having that extra safety net can come in handy if the situation arises.

Take Extra Precautions to Keep Yourself Safe

Even if you are traveling alone, always make sure you have a means to get help if you need it. With modern smart technology, it’s easier than ever before to stay connected and keep yourself safe. If you download Virtual Halo, your personal safety app, to your phone, you can link it to your Apple Watch so getting help is as quick and easy as pushing an SOS button.

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