Here is a number for you: 354,670. That is the number of women that were raped in 1995 (RAINN 1). That is equivalent of one woman being raped every two minutes (RAINN 1). Want more numbers? "In the last two years, more than 787,000 women were the victim of a rape or sexual assault" (RAINN 1). And one more statistic that might get your attention is that only 37% of rapes are reported to the authorities (RAINN 2). Fortunately, there are ways to drastically reduce these numbers. For starters women need to know what constitutes rape. Second women need to know how to prevent rape before it starts, and lastly women need to know what to do if they are raped. According to the book Our Bodies Our Selves, rape is defined as "...any kind of sexual activity committed against a woman's will" (Avery 135). When a person says the word "rape", people automatically think of a stranger jumping out of the bushes or chasing you down an ally. But, the most common form of rape is called acquaintance rape or date rape. Acquaintance rape is defined as "forced, manipulated or coerced sexual contact by someone you know" (gopher.uchicago 1).

Acquaintance rape can occur by "someone you have just met, or dated a few times, or even with someone to whom you are engaged" (Hughes 1). Acquaintance rape accounts for about 60% of all rapes reported (Hughes 1). According to Hughes, date rape usually occurs when a man and a woman are alone whether in a car or at home (2). Also drugs and alcohol sometimes play an important factor in date rape. "Many victims say later that they drank too much or took too many drugs to realize what was going on by the time they realized their predicament, it was too later" (Hughes 2). Another reason acquaintance rape occurs is mixed signals. For example, the woman acts friendly "...the man interprets this friendliness as an invitation to have sex" and when a woman says "no" she means "maybe" (Hughes 2). The reason that men do this is because they are taught to be aggressive and controlling at an early age. Men need to realize that this attitude can lead to date rape and should not look at women as sex objects. Women need to be aware of men like this to prevent being raped. Since acquaintance rape and stranger rape can occur at any time, women should know how to prevent rape before it starts.

There are many steps you can take to prevent being raped. The first step is to be psychologically prepared. Women must accept the fact that they are a potential rape victim (ncf.carleton 1). The second step is to be aware of community rape prevention and counseling. The third psychological step is to recognize the locations and situations where rape is more likely to occur, and avoid them. After being psychologically prepared women must know what to do in each of the following situations: in your car, on the street, and in your home.

When you are in your car you should follow these instructions (ncf.carleton 2).
1. Keep windows and doors locked
2. If you should be followed into your driveway, stay in your car with the doors locked. Sound horn to get the attention of neighbors or scare the other driver off.
3. When parking at night, select a place that will be well lit when returning to the car.
4. Always make sure the car is locked, and have the keys ready when returning to the car.
5. Check interior of car before getting in.

The following information will be useful when you are on the street.
1. Be observant of things around you. If someone is following you, go to the nearest house or store.
2. Walk near the curb and avoid passing close to shrubbery, dark doorways and other places of concealment.
4. Avoid short cuts through parking lots and alleys.
5. Walk with a friend if at all possible. Don't walk alone.
6. When arriving home by taxi or private auto, ask the driver to wait until you get inside.
7. Don't jog in secluded areas
8. Know the location of the special emergency phones on campus.

Finally when you are in your home you should use the following precautions.
1. The best lock cannot function if you fail to lock it. Be sure to keep your doors locked.