History of Rape, Prevention, Crime and Punishment Part 4 Self Protective Measures

About some measures you can take to protect yourself from being the victim of rape at home and when you are away.

Rape Control Fails to Halt Increased Rape Rate

Self-Protective Measures. While the research projects, law enforcement, medical and legal efforts, all work to alleviate the plight of rape victims, women themselves continue to mount increasingly aggressive and effective campaigns on all levels. An obvious 1st step is to become aware of the best ways to avoid rape. At home, these are the rules to follow:

1. Have secure locks (preferably dead bolts) on doors and windows.

2. Never open the door to a stranger. Make him identify himself, and check his identification with a phone call to the company or service he claims to represent.

3. Never allow children to open the door. They are naturally trusting and tend to permit anyone to enter.

4. Be sure the area around your home is well-lighted.

5. Try to avoid letting strangers know you are alone. If you're a single woman living alone, don't use your 1st name on your mailbox or for your phone listing.

Away from home:

1. Never hitchhike if you can possibly avoid it. If you must, never hitchhike with a man; wait for a car with a woman driver.

2. Never pick up a stranger in a bar, or anywhere else for that matter. Certainly never go to his apartment, no matter how gentle and innocent he seems. Don't walk dark streets. If you're driving, keep your car doors locked. When you park your car, park in lighted areas. Lock your car. Before getting back in, always look into the rear-seat area 1st.

Women Strike Back. Women are taking self-defense courses in ever greater numbers. There is still a considerable difference of opinion about the advisability of a woman attempting to fight off a rapist physically. Many law-enforcement people advise against it on the grounds that it may incite a rapist to greater violence; and that most women aren't strong enough to fight off the average rapist, even if they have mastered one of the martial arts.

Many women carry so-called legal weapons such as a hatpin, nail file, umbrella, aerosol cans of hairspray, whistles or other alarms. Some law enforcement people claim a woman's best defense is a loud and prolonged scream. It's also better to scream "Fire" rather than "Help".

In California, in 1974, 2 women claiming to have been raped took drastic measures--they murdered their alleged rapists. The 1st of these 2 women, 30-year-old Inez Garcia of Monterey, was convicted October 4 by a 7-woman, 5-man jury of 2nd-degree murder for shooting and killing a 30-year-old man, whom she said helped another man rape her. In that same month, 19-year-old Deborah Kantaeng of Long Beach was charged with murder in the shotgun killing of Danny Charles Allen, 21, who Ms. Kantaeng maintains raped her. Many feminists in the Monterey and Long Beach areas, familiar with the cases, insisted that the women were being "railroaded."

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