Every Friday, RCASA will blog important facts and information in an attempt to raise awareness about sexual assault……
GET REAL: Safety Information for Middle School Students
WARNING SIGNS: Behaviors of Potentially Unsafe People
Unsafe people target a victim who they can have access to without making others suspicious and who they judge to be vunerable in some way.
The way a person looks or acts is NEVER the cause of sexual abuse or sexual assault
Unsafe people then test their target using intrusive actions that make a potential victim feel nervous, confused, or unsafe. Some intrusions are:
- inappropriate comments
- extremely personal questions
- standing or sitting too close
- using touch to intimidate
If unsafe people find that the intrusions effectively confuse or intimidate the person, they try to isolate the potential victim.
The unsafe person may use threats to control the victim. Unsafe people may…
- blame the victim
- abuse a position of authority
- tell the victim that no one will believe him or her
- threaten to harm the victim or someone close to them
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS: Things you Can Do To Stay Safer
Sexual abuse can still happen even if a person follows every safety guideline. Remember, no matter what the circumstances, sexual abuse is never the victim’s fault.
If you find yourself in a situation that makes you uneasy, trust that “gut feeling,” and get away, if possible.
Your best tool for staying safe is ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION. When talking to the person who is making you feel unsafe make sure you:
- Make eye contact
- Use your serious, forceful voice
- Clearly tell people to STOP the behaviors
- that make you feel unsafe
You may say things such as:
- “Stop touching me”
- “Don’t do that”
- “You’re making me feel uncomfortable”
ALWAYS tell a trusted adult, such as your parents or teacher, about someone who makes you feel unsafe. If the person doesn’t believe you or won’t help, then keep telling until someone listens!
If you need help, you can call the RCASA Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (540)371-1666. Sexual assault or harassment is NEVER ok!