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Southern Nazarene University - Character Culture Christ

Protecting Yourself Against AssaultSNU Safety and Security

Although we cannot guarantee that you will never be a victim of assault or rape, there are several steps you can take to minimize your chances of being a victim.

The following are suggestions for you to incorporate into your daily living routine:

On the Street
•    Do not walk alone unless you absolutely have to.
•    Be aware of what is happening around you.  Know where you are and where you are going.
•    If you walk home from work regularly, vary your route.  Do not be predictable!  Walk away from bushes, alleys, and dark entryways.  Stay in well-lighted areas.
•    Do not be surprised.  Attackers rely on the element of surprise. Do not wear headphones while walking alone.
•    Trust your instincts. If you think you are being followed, walk towards a busy, lighted area. Scream loudly to attract attention, then tell someone to call the police because you are being followed.
•    If someone bothers you from a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction. If possible get a license plate number. Then when you are in a safe place, notify the police department.
•    When you are walking, keep one hand free. Keep your purse close to your body. If you are carrying books or packages, be prepared to drop them. Nothing you are carrying is worth your life. Drop it and run.

Jogging on the Streets
•    It is safer to be with a friend or group
•    Avoid running during the evening hours on the streets away from campus.
•    When running during the evening hours, run with a friend or group.
•    The track located in Sawyer Center is available for use many hours of the day and evening.

In Your Car
•    Have your keys in your hand as your approach your car. Do not fumble around with your attention focused on something other than what is happening around you.
•    Always look inside your car to the back seat and the floor before you get in.
•    Keep your car doors locked and your windows up when you drive.
•    Do not let the gas run empty. You do not want to have to stop for gas in places where you would not want to walk.

Be prepared for emergencies
•    Carry a flashlight and flares or reflectors and an emergency manual in the car.
•    Know how to change a tire. Make certain the spare tire is in good condition, and that the proper jack and all its parts are in the car.
•    If your car breaks down at night, put on your emergency flashers and place a flare about twenty feet behind your car. Remain in your car with the doors locked and the windows closed until police arrive.
•    If another motorist stops to assist you, roll the window down a crack and ask him/her to call the police or a towing service for you.
•    Always keep enough money in your car to make an emergency phone call.
•    Have a cell phone to have with you for emergencies.

Rape Fact vs. Fiction

There are many misconceptions about sexual assault. People in every segment of society have developed their own “ideas” about rape and rape victims. The “blame it on the victim” attitude makes it difficult for the victim to seek help and to begin the recovery process. It is through the myths and misconceptions about rape that not only do many women increase their chances of becoming a victim, but many others are allowed to turn the victim into the villain.

Fiction: Rape will not happen to me or someone I know.

Fact: One in every six women you know will be a victim of sexual assault. Men, women and children…old people, young people…people from every socioeconomic group, every religion have been victimized. Rape is the most unreported crime in the Untied States. It occurs every five minutes.

Fiction: Rape does not happen at schools like ours.

Fact: A rape can occur at any school. The potential is everywhere. The threat can come from people on or off campus.

Fiction: The rapist is almost always a stranger to the victim.

Fact: Most women are raped by someone they know – a date, an acquaintance, a neighbor, a relative. These rapes generally go unreported. In fact, almost half of these rapes never get reported. Any woman forced into having sex against her wishes has been victimized by rape. If the rape occurs with a friend or relative, the victim often feels somewhat “responsible” for the act, is unwilling to “confess” it to others, and is discouraged from seeking professional help.

Fiction: Men rape because they want sex. They are usually frustrated because they have limited opportunities for sex. Many are maniacs or psychopaths.

Fact: The motivation for rape is the need to have power and to control. Forcing women to have sex against their will is an act of aggression and violence. The rapist is angry, feels the need to dominate and uses sex as his weapon.

Fiction: Women really want to be raped. They “ask for it” by the way they dress or act.

Fact: No person ever wants to be a victim of a violent, life-threatening act. Most victims have feelings of terror, humiliation, and degradation.

What To Do If you Have Been Raped


Go someplace where you feel safe and can get emotional support.

Contact Security. Find a friend and/or your Resident Assistant or Resident Director. They will assist you in getting the appropriate help and support you need. If you want, call a rape-crisis hotline.

Even though you may feel “dirty”-



It is important that you get medical attention for treatment of injuries and for other tests, which are for your benefit both physically and legally.


The decision to report the rape is yours if you are of legal age. Reporting a rape is an important part in the fight to end this type of crime. But you must choose to do what is comfortable for you.


Counseling is an essential step in the recovery process. Even if you do not report the rape and pursue the legal action against your attacker, you will need the help of a trained counselor. Counselors who are trained in rape-crisis can be found in hospitals, rape-crisis centers or mental health centers. Professional counseling services are available without charge in the Counseling Center (491-6335).

A Special Word about Date Rape

No one ever thinks that a dating situation with a friend will ever get out of control…BUT it can. Your best defense for minimizing your chances for a problem is precaution. Here are a few suggestions:

o    On first dates, enjoy an evening activity in a well-lighted public place.
o    Go out with another couple or at least let your roommate or friend know where you are going, who you are going with, and what time you expect to return.
o    Avoid getting into places and situations, which may lead to a compromise (dark “parking” spots, your date’s apartment).
o    Be aware of non-verbal and verbal cues which may warn you of a potentially dangerous situation.
o    Trust your instincts. It may not be “just your imagination!”

Our Nazarene Heritage
Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university - a service of the Church of the Nazarene. Located on a 40-acre campus just west of Oklahoma City, SNU grew out of several small colleges committed to educating people for lives of service to God, leadership, and reconciliation toward their neighbors and within the global community. More than 32,000 alumni work and serve throughout the United States and the world. Read About Our Heritage

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