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Young Women: You Can Reduce Your Risks for Being Raped or Murdered

Updated on October 20, 2014

For Young Wojmen Only

Another 18 year old woman from m my area is missing. Most of us fear she will be like the others and will either never be found or, her lifeless body will be found in some remote area,where a cold-hearted rapist dumped her. The message below is for young women only. particularly those living on college campuses or on their own for the first time. Freedom is sweet but she is dangerous too.

Rape happens to women of all ages and without provocation but this article is for the young, the naïve and, the ones that don't think it can happen to them.

Will you give me three minutes of your time?

If you are a young woman under the age of 30, you’re probably doing some of the same stupid things I did when I was your age. If you are as lucky as me, you’ll get by with it and live a long, long time with no ill effects from your stupidity. But what if you’re not? It’s time to talk about reducing your risks for rape or murder so that you will have a future.

Chances are that you’ll skip over this and not read more than a sentence or two. You don’t want to hear it because you already know everything. Trust me; I felt the same way when I was your age. Nobody knew more than me and I was sure that all the adults in my life were just trying to keep me from having fun. I was hardheaded to a fault. No one was going to control me, not if I could help it. My mother once called me incorrigible. I didn’t know what that meant exactly but I wore it like a trophy. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes so I am going to ask you nicely to please, take three minutes and read what I am going to tell you.

What is Risk Reduction and Why Does It Matter

I want to talk about some specific risk reduction methods. First though, let me explain what I mean by “risk reduction”. If, like me, you are doing things that seem fun without giving much thought to the consequences, you are in real danger. I want to make you think, really think, about what can and maybe will happen if you don’t stop. I want to give you some tips that will help you protect yourself from being raped or murdered. So, let’s get going.

Men and Sex

I hope that got your attention. It probably did since it’s all you think about if you’re younger than 30 years old. They look good and they say nice things to you and if you’re lucky, they probably even take you out and show you a good time. That’s how it should be.Men are wonderful creatures but they aren't all good.

There are three kinds of men when it comes to sex. I want to talk about each of the three because you need to be prepared for each kind.

The Good Guys

Most young men are good guys. They want a good girl and they want to plan a future. You’ll never have to worry about a good guy taking advantage of you. He will treat you like a lady and be respectful to you, your family, and your friends. He may want to have sex with you but he won’t ever make you feel obligated. If he’s worth having, he will be willing to wait until you are ready. He’s probably worth keeping around.

Source

The Not So Good Guys

Some men are not so good and they are only looking for a good time. They want to be seen by their friends when they are with a pretty girl and they want to brag about what you’re doing for them. In other words, they want their friends to think you’re giving “it” to them or “putting out”. You know what I mean, right?

Those guys, the not so good ones, will lie about you to their friends. They will tell their friends they are getting “it” even when they aren’t. Did you know that men are jealous, just like women? It’s true and if one guy says you’re giving “it” to him, his friends might want it too. They aren’t any more loyal to their friends than girls are. They will wait like a vulture for the right opportunity and then they will try to take “it” from you. Most will threaten you or try to intimidate you to keep the secret, even if they don’t get “it”.

The Bad Guys

Bad guys just don’t give a crap and will take “it” whether you want them to or not. Yes, l am talking about rape. Some guys are just out there prowling around looking for someone to rape.

They don’t care about your feelings. They don’t care about your body. They just enjoy the fight and taking what doesn’t belong to them.

WARNING

All of the three types of guys that I have described have the potential to hurt you; really hurt you.

When a guy wants you to give “it” to him and you don’t want to, things can get out of control pretty fast. What starts as a rise in hormones can become an uncontrollable urge. An uncontrollable urge can turn into rage and if it can’t be stopped, you will be raped and possibly killed. Rape resisted can quickly become murder.

Let's create our own statistics

Do you know someone who has been raped or murdered because a rape went wrong?

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How to Reduce Your Risk of Being Raped or Murdered

The statistics are staggering and growing. I don’t want you to become a statistic. I don’t want you to be afraid. I don’t want you to be raped. I don’t want you to be murdered. So, you have to reduce your risks. I can’t do it for you.

The things I am going to ask of you are not difficult. They can save your life and that’s what this is all about. I know you don’t think it will happen to you and I pray that it never does. But, I want you to be prepared Justin case. Your life is worth it. Even if you think you are in a loving relationship, you can still become a victim. The following suggestions will give you the best chance of surviving.

10 Steps to Reduce Your Risks

  1. Take a self-defense class for women. Contact your local law enforcement office or YMCA. They can refer you to a class.
  2. Always tell someone where you are going, who you are going with and. when you expect to return home.
  3. When hiking, biking, jogging, or shopping, use a buddy system. Take someone with you.
  4. Carry a cell phone and pepper spray.
  5. Invest in a personal alarm. They are inexpensive and small enough to fit in a pocket or to hang around your neck.
  6. Pay attention to your surroundings. Make mental notes about landmarks and sounds (i.e. trains, machines),
  7. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, use your cell phone to take a picture of the person you are with. Your camera will date and time stamp the photo.
  8. If you feel threatened and are near other people, don’t hesitate to scream.
  9. Never leave a drink unattended. Date rape drugs come in many forms and can quickly be slipped into a drink while you’re in the restroom or dancing.
  10. Don’t tempt fate with your appearance. Good guys appreciate a woman who remains a little mysterious. Revealing too much of yourself is an invitation to the not so good guys.

Why Do I Care?

I care because I survived my youth. I care because I did all the wrong things and was lucky. I care because my heart is sick over the number of beautiful young women in my area who have disappeared and were never found or, were found alone and dead in isolated areas where they were dumped after being raped and murdered. I want to save your life because you are worth it. You have your whole life ahead of you and I don’t want it to end in horror. I don’t want y our parents to be heartbroken.

You can do something now that prevents you from becoming a name on the national news. You don’t have to be a Morgan Harrington or an Alexis Murphy, or a Hannah Graham. You don’t have to be one of the beautiful young women who went out for a good time and never came back. But you could be.

You don’t know me and yore probably thinking that I don’t know what I’m talking about. It won’t happen to you. You’re right; I am no expert. I am nothing more than someone who survived her stupidity of youth and I want you to do the same. Think about it, okay?

© 2014 Linda Crist

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  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Say Yes To Life! Thanks for reading this one and offering more information for young women who want and need to be more informed. The monster who inspired this article is more than a date rapist. He's a serial killer who preys on young women who have left themselves vulnerable. We have to teach young women how to protect themselves and pray that it will help them avoid such situations. I appreciate your input.

  • Say Yes To Life profile image

    Yoleen Lucas 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

    Thanks, Irc815. I found this article on the web; it lists 13 characteristics of a potential date rapist.

    http://www.babble.com/babble-voices/13-characteris...

    He may not be a date rapist, but he certainly wouldn't make a good life partner!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Say Yes To Life...I wish I had your answer but I don't. I am no expert. What I can help you with is learning to trust your instinct. It's really very simple. If it doesn't feel good in your gut, that's a red flag. Listen to it and distance yourself from the cause. As my mother said to me - "an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure". When things are not right, I get a tightening in my solar plexus. That's enough of a warning for me to listen to.

    I hope that helps a little. It's not much to offer but it works for me. I appreciate your reading my article and pray that you will never find yourself in this position. Thanks much!

  • Say Yes To Life profile image

    Yoleen Lucas 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

    Thanks for writing this hub. I'd like to ask a question, if I may.

    A long time ago, a friend of mine introduced me and some other women to her date. I picked up a weird vibe from him, like he was a total loser who had no qualms about using and stomping on people. Since I didn't know what that meant, I didn't say anything. The next day, she told us he had driven them to an isolated spot, then tried to rape her. She was lucky to be able to escape by running off. Several years later, I was watching a TV program where 3 rapists were interviewed, and I picked up that same weird vibe from the screen. Is that typical? The articles all say trust your instincts, but you need to know what those instincts say. I didn't sense he was violent. How can you tell?

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    R Talloni, I bet that was a good interview. If more fathers were involved in overseeing their daughters wardrobe this might be a different argument. Thanks for sharing.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

    You are right, suggestive clothing is not the leading cause of rape, but the role it plays should be seriously considered. One of the things I find most amazing is that in the name of personal rights, women dress in ways that provoke men who would harm them or others because of the way they dress. Yesterday afternoon I was surprised to hear part of an interview in which some fathers were speaking up about the sexualization of little girls via the clothing (most currently, costumes) available to buy. I wish I could've heard it all and may yet look it up, but I was so glad to hear their courage in going against what's popular for the sake of what's really at issue.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello R Talloni. I appreciate your visit and comment very much. As you suggest, it would make for a great article if men from every walk of life were interviewed on this subject. When I wrote this article, I was driven by personal rage over the number of young women in my area who have vanished and were later found dead. Most had been raped. I wanted to do something and writing was the only thing I knew to do. I began thinking about my own parents and how concerned they were over my appearance as a young woman. It made sense to me now but I'm sure I thought it was foolish back then. I don['t think that appearance is the sole or even the leading cause of rape but I do think it is part of the equation. As you said...tempting fate. I hope that my direct approach to the subject will make a difference. Thanks for the support.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

    I've often wondered what an article would look like if men were asked and answered honestly about how the way women dress affect them. While it is true that all women/girls are at risk of being raped, it is also true that provocatively dressed women/girls are at more risk.

    An honest interview with men from all walks of life -- those in offices, retail businesses, factories, and more. -- could be so helpful to women if they would listen. Even mothers dress their youngest girls in clothes that look like something a grown up streetwalker would wear and call it cute. Fathers, if given the opportunity to be really honest without being attacked for it, could shed light on the truth of the fact that it is dangerous.

    There is quite a lot to the different facets of the topic, but your courage in addressing it and including the issue of not tempting fate with appearance is to be applauded.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    writinglover, thank you so much for your visit and comment. If one young woman is saved from a horrible experience by this article, then I have done something good. That was my goal. We cannot guarantee our safety 100% but we can take steps to protect ourselves. Be safe and be smart!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Faith, your granddaughters are blessed. So many young girls today have no one to teach them. The personal alarm is magnificent. I've had two of them for years. I carry one with me and I also keep one by my bed.. They are VERY loud. lol I also keep pepper spray with me. Do I sound paranoid? I prefer to think of it as being smart. Like you, I'm glad I'm older now but I've had a couple of close calls in my life. I'd rather be safe than sorry. I do hope this article is helpful to others and I really appreciate your visit and that you found it worthy to share. Sending blessings and hugs your way.

  • writinglover profile image

    Jennifer 3 years ago from Lost...In Video Games

    Thank you for not beating around the bush! Very well said! Why should you sugarcoat it when harsh reality is what girls my age really need? Message driven home!

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

    Linda, this is such an important message here that I hope all read, especially young women. I managed to get through this life so far without being raped; however, I have been followed or stalked more times than I care to think about. My sweet mother taught us to always be aware of our surroundings and I took that to heart, and happened to notice things. We should never let our guard down. I never heard of that personal alarm, but I want to get one. The incidents of date rape or where women are out and someone slips something into their drink without their knowledge is ever-increasing and women are being raped and murdered. I am glad I am not single, but if I were, I would be sure to put some kind of cover on my drink ... sounds silly, but hey! Whatever it takes. No one can be too cautious. I think about my precious granddaughters who are so young now, but I will make sure I teach them at an early age. Men are turned on by sight that is for sure. We do know that most rapes are not really about sex, but about power.

    Voted up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

    Hope you are enjoying a relaxing Sunday.

  • Silva Hayes profile image

    Silva Hayes 3 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

    This is such an important message. I will ask my granddaughters to read this. Voted Up.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    janshares...Thank you so much! This one has caused a bit of a stir but I am not one to shy away from opposing views. As for my no nonsense approach, well, sometimes I think we sugarcoat things so much that they just don't make an impression. If even one hears the message and heeds it, then I can feel like I've contributed to the solution. Like you, I wish this was going to get a lot of attention but it doesn't look like it will. Even HP disabled ads on it due to it's sensitive nature. lol

    I do appreciate your caring and understanding.

  • janshares profile image

    Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

    This is a very important article for young women, Linda. I hope it gets out there for enough of them to read it and pass on to their friends. I appreciate your no-nonsense, caring approach to get the message across to young women to get serious about protecting themselves. I would also add that they should watch their alcohol intake and always have control over their faculties. It's not about blame or judgment; it's about empowerment, safety, and increasing the chances of having complete control over one's body

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi teaches12345! I appreciate your visit and comment. I can think of nothing worse than having a child go missing. As a child, my little brother got lost at a public lake. I was 8 and he was 5. We found him within an hour but those minutes were the most frightening I ever experienced. Even now, over 5o years later, I can still remember it. I've been young and I know how hard it is when everyone wants to protect you. But, you are right, a little knowledge could save a life.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

    Parents hate to think of the possiblity of this happening to their child but helping them to know these tips could save their lives. Great article and well done!

  • Kathleen Cochran profile image

    Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

    Rape is not about sexual satisfaction. It's about power. Doesn't matter how the woman is dressed. I'll stand my ground as well - respectfully. Thank you for writing on this important issue in the first place.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Kathleen. Thanks for taking the time to read this one. I understand what you are saying about #10; I really do. But I can't remove it because I do believe that a woman can look very appealing without wearing pants so tight that you can count her pubic hairs or wearing a top that shows all but her nipples. I don't want to sound so crass but I don't know how else to put it. It should not be that way but men don't think the way women do. We were designed differently and although there are exceptions to everything, men are physically stimulated by these things than women are. Any young woman who is scantily clad, intoxicated, and alone is a temptation that a lot of men can't resist. I can live with morals being questioned but I'm having a hard time watching one girl after another vanish and suffer a horrible death. A lot of it is just fate or luck but if you have a buddy, dress responsibly, and stay sober, you increase your chances of living to a ripe old age and doing something good in this world. More importantly, you may get to bury your parents instead of it being the other way around. No parent should have to bury a child or spend the rest of their days wondering where their child is. Again, I understand but have to respectfully stand my ground on this one.

  • Kathleen Cochran profile image

    Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

    Great information that is greatly needed, but please don't include #10. Rape happens no matter how a woman is dressed and this note sends the message (unintentionally - I'm sure) that somehow this terrible crime can sometimes be a woman's fault. I've lived in a culture where the showing of a woman's ankle can cause her morals to be questioned.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Randi, you are so precious. Thank you for reading this one in spite of my title. I appreciate even more that you found it worthy of sharing. I really pray that it will prevent someone from having this horrible thing happen. Thanks!!!!!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shyron E Shenko: Thank you so much! Sometimes bad thing happen to good people no matter how cautious we are. But, I am reminded of my Mom who always said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I hope that this article will prevent even one rape. Thanks for sharing!

  • btrbell profile image

    Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

    Great, well written hub, Linda with a clear message, I know it said "for young women" but as the mother of a young woman and an admirer of your hubs, I read it anyway! I'm sure glad I did and I will be sharing it with the young women in my life. I am saddened by the horrible things happening by you, Thank you for sharing this! Up+

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

    This is such great advice. I was pretty cautious. But my friend was cautious and she was attacked and raped. I don't think Angie ever got over what happened to her.

    I hope every woman reads this and follows your advice.

    Thumb up, UAI and shared.

    Blessings to you Linda.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Kady G, i agree that religion and politics play a role but I don't think every rape can be blamed on a single attitude. It's just not that black and white in my opinion. I think there are many reasons that a man rapes a woman and NONE of them are justified. It's wrong no matter what the root cause is.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

    I often wondered if it really is in our water that we drink and the other things that we drink in that water. It is not the hormones. It is the media. It is not about sex. That is only a tool they use to get power over them. Step back and really take a hard look at what religion is teaching men about women. It is underlying and they will tell you that they do not do this, but it is in everyone that allows men to control wome4n. Look at politics and other nations and how they treat their women and girls...it is everywhere that a man has more power and prestige and knowledge than a girl. In many nations a woman is still considered "property".

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Lady Guinevere, thanks for the follow up. Honestly, I think in the case of some of these UVA students, it started out with some guy just wanting a little sex. I can't help but wonder if it went bad when the girls resisted. It's a huge problem and trying to figure it out is hard. Is it the hormones our kids are getting in the food sources or a social issue of sex and a lack of moral values? I don't know but I know that no parent should suffer the loss and never know what happened to their daughter. It's just bad, isn't it?

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

    I was not offended in any way shape or form. I live in West Virginia, near Northern Virginia and I hear about these cases that you have described all the time too. It is sad that these kids are getting something they never bargained for in the first place. It is not all the girls fault either. What are we, as a society, teach the boys about how to treat girls. It starts before they are teens. Rape is not about sex. It is all about power and control over others. What are those who choose to do these heinous acts on girls lacking in their own lives and what are they getting out of it that makes them do these things?

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna,l thanks for the support. I am so angry. This piece was inspired by the recent disappearance of Hannah Elizabeth Graham. She is 18 years old, was out partying off campus dressed in a crop top and biker type cropped pants. She was intoxicated and left the party alone. A short time later she called a friend to say she was walking in Charlottesville and was lost. She was last seen leaving a bar with Jesse Matthew,k a large built,k African American male who had his arm around her waist. She has been missing for TWO WEEKS today. So I asked myself how this could happen again. This is the fifth girl from UVA to go missing. My answers were clear. She was only 18 and not legal to drink. She left the party alone after midnight. She walked downtown which is isolated. The downtown mall is a foot mall. There is no vehicle traffic. She was dressed in clothing that was a bit suggestive. Do I need to say more? Yes,k I know she is young and naïve. She was also smart and athletic and had a bright future ahead of her. Shauna, you and I were lucky. We got by with our stupid stuff. These girls didn't. If I have to piss people off to get the message out, I don't care. These girls don't have to die. Hannah may never be found or, she may be found in some remote area where she was dumped after "someone" raped and murdered her. I want these girls to know...it can happen to them but there are things they can do to reduce the risks. If only one hears me, I did something. You know me, I have to do something. Thank you!

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, take it from someone who knows first hand: it CAN happen to anyone! The defense suggestions are good and should be heeded. We can't always control our circumstances and we can't always properly judge a person's character or intentions, but perhaps we can save ourselves when things go wrong.

    When we're young we think we're invincible. That just isn't true.

    Thank you for caring enough to reach out.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Jackie! I agree with you about the laws. We are having an epidemic of missing young women here in Virginia and it seems to be concentrated around the University of Virginia campus area. The problem isn't that we have a serial rapist. The real problem is that we have young girls roaming around alone unprepared to handle the raging hormones of men who have no respect for women. We have to wake them up and make them prepare them better for the dangers. I am so glad I don't have a daughter these days because if I did, she would most likely be as stubborn and independent as I was as a young women. That would scare me to death. I don't know if my message will be heard but if even one hears it and listens, it's worth the time spent writing about it. Thanks so much for your support. You are a special lady.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Lady Guinevere, the honest answer to your question is "no". I have not read your hub but I will. This was written and titled for YOUNG WOMEN because I am sicke3ned by the number of young women in my area who have gone missing and then found dead, lying alone and abandoned after being sexually assaulted. I live in Virginia, the state that has been on the national news for the past 13 days. Hannah Graham went missing about 60 miles from where I live. She is 18 years old. She spent a night partying and was thought to be intoxicated when she was last seen. She was roaming the streets alone in what has been described as tight pants and a cropped top with her midriff exposed. She was a pretty girl, an athlete, and had a bright future. I suspect she will become the fifth young woman in that area to be found alone and dead from what was most likely a rape that went wrong.

    I am sorry that you were raped and yes, I am fully aware that most rape victims do nothing wrong. That is why this was targeted specifically for young women who think it can't happen to them. Fate can be tempted and when you are young, you are also naïve. No woman deserves to be raped. Not ever.

    If you were offended in any way, I sincerely apologize. I needed to do something for Hannah Graham and the best thing I could do is to try to prevent another young woman from suffering the same violence. I will be around to read your hub soon. Thank you for reading mine and sharing it. The message is important even if the delivery wasn't perfect.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, my kindred spirit, this has been a tough week here in Virginia as the clock ticks and another young woman is still missing. If I have to offend someone to get through to even one who could be the next, it is well worth the consequences. No parent should ever have to sit and wait for law enforcement to knock on their door with the message that their daughter has been found dead over a rape gone wrong. And yes, the wisdom that comes with age is so precious and only serves to remind me of how absolutely lucky I have been.. I would not go back and be 20-something again for all the money in the world. Thanks for the support my friend. I am glad I survived and found such a good friend. Hugs!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Some good advice. I married my high school sweetheart and he would get hostile with anyone who looked at me the wrong way so thankfully not being raped was maybe the only benefit from that. lol It is a horrible reality though and hope you get read. Laws against rapist should be much harsher. Up and shared.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

    Great message. I was wondering if you got the thought to post this after I posted about my rape yesterday. It doesn't matter, now I was no a teen or a yong girl when I got raped and there was nothing that I did wrong, didn't dress provocatively or anything of that nature. I was married and had two girls at the time. My point is that this does not happen to only young single girls who are dating. I will link your hub with mine and share it. Rated up and useful.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Oh, Kindred, if we could only have today's wisdom when we were thirty...how much better and easier things would have been. There may be some who will take offense to these suggestions, but they are all common sense suggestions that can save a whole lot of grief. I applaud you for speaking out about something that has no direct effect on you, but does have for millions of women. Well done, Kindred.