A Rose Among Thorns

Strategies for Avoiding Sexual Assault

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A Rose Among Thorns is not a professional counseling service.  For professional advice and counseling, please contact one of the many women's services provided on this website.  If you are suicidal, please contact 911 or your crisis hotline service immediately.  A Rose Among Thorns is a friendly and save environment for women to join together for the mere purpose of sharing with each other our stories, to form friendships and to gain back our self-esteem.



Awareness and assertive behavior may be your best defenses against becoming an "easy victim."

Walk confidently, directly and at a steady pace.

Real anger instead of fear may not be expected by a would-be attacker andmay throw him off-guard.

If approached by someone you sense to be a potential threat, try to stay out of his reach.

Report suspicious or criminal activity to the police immediately.

If you feel you are in danger of being attacked, try to escape the situation by running away from it if you can.

Head for a well-lighted place where you think there will be other people who may be able to help you.

Try in any way you can to attract attention to yourself. Scream. "CALL 911!".

Take a self-defense course.

Trust your instincts. If a person, place, or situation makes you uneasy, leave or change it immediately.

Use common sense. If it seems risky, it probably is.


Have good locks (dead-bolts are best) installed on all doors and windows and be sure to use them.

Be sure you know who you are opening your door to. If a sales or repair person is legitimate, they will not mind your asking to see their identification and confirming their identity with the company they represent.

If a stranger comes to your door requesting assistance (e.g. to make a phone call, car trouble, etc.) offer to call thenecessary people for him. Do not make yourself vulnerable by opening your door to a stranger, especially if you live by yourself or are at home alone!

For women who live by themselves, never adertise the fact by listing your fullname in the phone book or on your mailbox. Use instead your first two initials, or even add another name.

Be cautious about revealing any personal information over the phone.

Draw your curtains or shut your blinds at night so people on the outside cannot determine who is in the residence.

Do not hide a spare key in obvious places such as under the mat in a potted plant, on the door sill, etc...Know your neighbors.


Always make sure to lock your car doors, whether or not you are in the car. Always check the floor and rear seat before getting into your car.

When returning to your car, make sure your keys are in your hand, ready to unlock the door and turn on the ignition. They can also be used as a weapon, should that become necessary.

If you suspet that you are being followed while driving, keep on going - - do not stop and pullover until you get to a place that is well-lit and where there are other people to assist you. If practical, drive to the nearest police station and tell them you are being followed.

Avoid parking lots and gas stations that are poorly lit.

Do not pick up hitchhikers nor accept rides from strangers, particularly men.

If your car should break down, or you are in a fender bender, raise the hood and remain in the car with the doors locked until the police arrive. If someone should stop and offer to assist you, roll down the window just enough to tell them they can be most helpful by calling the police for you.

Keep your car well-serviced, with good tires and plenty of gas. This will greatly reduce your chances of being disabled on the side of the road.


When walking alone, act self-assured and confident that you know where you are going.

Walk on the traffice side of sidewalks, not close to the alleyways and bushes.

If you suspect that someone is following you, cross the street, or walk quickly to a well-lit well-populated location.

Wear sensible clothing and shoes which allow you to maneuver or run.

Don’t load yourself down with packages, bags, books, etc. You wil appear vulnerable for attack.

Stay alert and aware. Turn around and look at whoever may be behind you.

If you walk or job for exercise, try to vary your route or time on the street. Predictable behavior is risky.


Sexual assault occurs most frequently in the following places.

40% in the victims home

20% in the home of a friend, relative, or neighbor

20% on the street

7% in aparking lot or garage


Go to a friend’s house or another safe place where you can get emotional support.

Go to the nearest hospital. DO NOT douche, bathe, shower, eat, drink, or change clothes before you go.

Report the rape to authorities (this does not mean you must proceed with prosecution).

Seek counseling. Even if you don’t report the rape or press charges, you should contact your nearest rape crisis center for information about conseling. Their services are free and confidential.

Know that it is not your fault. You did not do anything to cause it and you are not to blame.


Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
7701 North Lmar, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78752
Phone 1-512-474-7190

Fax 1-512-474-6490


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