Prevention & Resources

Reducing Risk

You can't completely protect yourself from sexual assault, but there are things you can do to help reduce your risk of being assaulted.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

  • Notice who is out there and what is going on.
  • Lock your door and windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes. Don't prop open self-locking doors.
  • Know who's on the other side of the door before you open it.
  • Watch your keys. Don't lend them, leave them or lose them...and have them ready to use.
  • Be wary of isolated spots, like underground garages, offices after business hours, and apartment laundry rooms.
  • Park in well-lit areas and lock the car, even if you will only be gone a few minutes.

Plan for Safety

  • Keep your car in good shape, with plenty of gas in the tank.
  • Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
  • In case of car trouble, call for help on your cell phone.  If you do not have a phone, put the hood up, lock the doors, and put a banner in the rear window that says, "Help. Call Police."
  • Learn about "date rape" drugs that can be slipped into a drink when you're not looking. Never leave your drink unattended, no matter where you are. If you've left your drink alone, just get a new one.
  • When you go to a social gathering, go with friends. Check in with each other throughout the evening, and leave together. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad situation.

Be Self Aware

  • Walk with confidence. The more confident you look, the stronger you appear.
  • Be assertive - don't let anyone violate your space.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut. If you see something suspicious, call 911 immediately.
  • Know your limits when it comes to using alcohol.

Educate Yourself and Others

The following resources will help you to

  • Understand the range of behaviors that constitute sexual violence
  • Discover what you can do to reduce your risk of sexual assault
  • Recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships
  • Learn how to make a difference 


Love Is Respect

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network

The No More Project

Womanshelter/Compañeras (Domestic abuse resources for the Pioneer Valley)

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center

The United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040