By Njoki Karuoya
Last week we give you part one of tips that you can apply to ensure you are not raped by a guy you like, only for him to turn out to be a monster. Referred to as ‘date rape’, this occurs when a guy you are dating or have just met at a party either forcibly has intercourse with you or drugs you into having it. Tools of such coercion include physical and/or verbal threats, emotional blackmail, alcohol or drugs to force or trick you into having sex.
Date rape can happen to women of all ages, but the young ones, especially aged between 14 and 24, are at highest risk. And like I said last week, this is every woman’s nightmare. So how can you protect yourself?
Here are this week’s tips:
1. Always keep some extra cash in your pocket to take a cab should the friends you went with to the party not want to leave at the same time as you. Alternatively, always keep the number of a family member or relative that you can call in times of a crisis and they will come pick you up.
2. If the guys you are hanging out with, including your date, seem to have hostile sentiments towards girls and women — for instance, should the guys call women derogatory names and give the impression that they consider sex with any woman as their right — raise your internal red flag. Such guys may have the tendency to forcibly have sex with girls they know and don’t know to prove their masculinity, and you don’t want to be one of their victims. Avoid such guys like the plague.
3. Do not allow yourself to be pressured into allowing a guy you are not yet familiar with or sure of into your home, or go to his place. Some guys take this to mean that you want more than talk and when he forces you into having sex, he will say it was consensual, and when it gets down to it, it will be your word against his. Avoid this scenario right from the beginning. Always meet in public places and stay there, unless you are ready to go to the next level.
4. Always let someone know who you are going out with and where, even if it’s with the gals. Something may happen to you and somebody else, besides the people you went out with, needs to know your itinerary for your own protection.
5. In the cases of seminars, workshops and camps out of your town, don’t let people you have just met follow you to your room or tent, as they may force their way in.
6. If you drove yourself to a club or restaurant and the parking area is in the dark or a distance from the club, ask one of the waiters or guards to escort you to your car and watch over you until you drive off. Tip them a little for this service as, again, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
7. Should someone approach you with sinister motives, make a scene. Yell, scream, kick or whatever to attract attention as, again, it is better to be safe than sorry. You can laugh later with your gals about how crazy you may have appeared making the scene, but it is better to laugh when safe than cry after being brutalised for not having made that scene.
8. Make this scene, also, when you see that another girl is in distress. Always help a sister out as one day, it could be you and another woman’s scream could be your lifeline.