The Media Maven: Steps to Prevent Rape

By Rachael Smith, Alumna of Radford University

Sexual assault is definitely not one of the most fun topics to chat about at girl’s night, but it is indeed one of the most important.

Now, more than ever, as college students and 20-somethings, young ladies need to know what possible steps they can take to divert a rape.

CNN recently aired a story about “last resort” steps to prevent a rape. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs released 10 tips to avoid rape. Among the tips were ones like, vomiting, urinating, telling your attacker you are menstruating or have a disease.

To me, this is worth a shot, if you have nothing left to lose. Your attacker may be a complete sicko, but they may be repulsed by a fake STD.
However, some students at the university thought the tips were a waste or plainly didn’t understand.

“Tell your attacker you have a disease or menstruating? I don’t understand how that will keep someone from attacking you," said student Leah McFann, who was quoted in the CNN article.

Yes, these tips do seem to be quite a stretch, but if it were my last resort, I would rather risk embarrassing myself in front of a rapist than to be raped and left dealing with the aftermath.

“As women, we have to cheat to win,” said Cpl. Lisa Dipzinski to KRDO-TV. “If you can use anything to your advantage … you could get a perpetrator who is disgusted by one of those things and that could ultimately make them walk away.”

Cosmopolitan has published advice on the topic, saying that if you are alone on an empty street (which is really never safe) and feel like you're being followed, you should cross at a diagonal to create more space. If they follow you, move to the middle of the street where passing cars can see you. Cosmo also says if you need to call the police from a cellphone, remember to state your address, as sometimes cell phones are not traceable like landlines are.

Hopefully, you will never have to use one, but go and buy pepper spray to carry along with you wherever you go. Every girl should have this; it’s essential.

Don’t be afraid everywhere you go; have fun and live but also be aware of your surroundings!

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!