There is no way to reduce your risk of sexual assault to zero and even if you do not recognize these as warning signs, sexual assault is NOT YOUR FAULT. Rapists are responsible for their actions, you are not. Anyone can be a rapist, and anyone can be a victim, regardless of gender, sexual preference, age, disability, etc. Statistics show most victims (87%) are assaulted by someone they know, an acquaintance, family member, friend, dating partner or spouse.
Remember that rapists and abusers are manipulative and deceitful. They are adept at creating situations where they can take advantage of a person's trust and good will. Studies have shown that there are some people who are more likely to be sexually aggressive than others.
Watch out for people who:
- do not listen to you, ignore what you say, talk over you or pretend not to hear you. Such perpetrators generally have little respect for their victims and would be more likely to hear "no" as meaning "convince me."
- ignore your personal space boundaries, standing or walking too close or touching you without permission. This is a testing strategy many predators use.
- express anger or aggression frequently. Hostile feelings can easily be translated into hostile acts. Such people can become aggressive when someone tells them "no."
- use hostile or possessive language about their victims. They use words like bitch, whore, or stupid or other derogatory language. They may refer to their partner as their possession. This shows that the perpetrator believes he or she can treat others however they wish.
- do what they want regardless of what you want. A person may do this in little ways – They may feel the decision is theirs as to when you are ready for sex.
- try to make you feel guilty, or accuse you of being "uptight" if you resist their sexual overtures.