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When an attack is imminent

With the 16 Days Activism Campaign for No Violence against Women and Children running from 25 November to 10 December Malmesbury police have issued some useful safety tips in situations where sexual offences are imminent.

Vulnerability increases: . in dark and deserted places at night;. if you look vulnerable (e.g. walking alone in desolate areas);. if you appear uncertain, for example, if you do not know where you are going;. if you do not lock your car doors and close your windows;. if you talk to strangers;. if you stop for stranded vehicles or people;. if your vehicle is faulty and you have to stop for help.

If forced to stop: . Be aware of your surroundings.. Be alert at traffic lights and stop streets.. Walk close to the curb and face the on-coming traffic.. Try and keep to well-lit areas or where there are people.. Do not hitchhike.. Do not pick up hitchhikers.. Keep a whistle with you and blow it if you need help.

At home: . Do not allow a stranger into your home – even if he is delivering something or providing a service.. Ask for an identity document or contact his/her office to check his/her identity.. Invest in the best locks and security you can afford.. Never tell anyone you are home alone, and make sure the children also know not do so.. Know your neighbours – and, together, plan ahead for how you will respond in a crisis.. Know your local police station, and discuss safety matters with the police. . Become involved with local crime prevention efforts with the community policing forum or police.

On a date: . Do not allow anyone to touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. Be firm and clear, and say no!. Do not leave a party or social event with someone you do not know or have just met – say no!Ask friends for help if someone ignores you when you say no!. Remember: most rape victims know the rapist.

In case of a rape: . Try not to panic. Common sense is your best defence.. You cannot always defend yourself, and your resistance may cause serious injury.. If the attacker is dangerous, cooperate and try to negotiate.. Submission is not consent.. Try and remember what the attacker looks like – his age, race, height, hair colour, scars, tattoos, clothes, voice, jewellery.. Scream, yell, blow your whistle or run away if you possibly can.. Do not bath or change your clothes after an attack . Keep all the evidence so that it can be used by the police for further investigation.. Report the crime to the police service straight away – go to the police station or phone 10111.

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