7 tips to lower your chance of becoming a rape victim

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - One in four women will be a victim of sexual assault by the time they're 25-years-old, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.

Valley women are taking a step to lower their chances of becoming a statistic by learning self-defense.

In the attached videos, Fight Ready Instructor Heath Wiggington demonstrates two moves to fight off an attacker. He said even a small woman can take on a larger and stronger attacker if she uses leverage and proper technique. 

Wiggington also stressed the importance of muscle-memory. He said it's important to practice the moves in order to automatically respond in the correct way if attacked.

Our ABC15 crew also spoke with Phoenix police who said it may come as a surprise that "alcohol alone is by far the #1 date rape drug." The department offered these tips to prevent sexual assault:

1. Be aware of your surroundings when in public. Avoid being out alone, especially after dark.
2. Secure and lock windows and doors when home.
3. Keep your cell phone readily available when in public, but do not use your cell to the point of distraction.
4. When out drinking (alcohol), stay with friends you trust, avoid intoxication and watch out for your best interests.
5. When drinking, do not go ANYWHERE alone with someone you do not know, even an old acquaintance if you are not sure of him/her.
6. Never leave your drinks unattended and do not accept drinks from someone you do not know.
7. The best way to prevent sexual assault is to steer clear of situations that allow it to happen. i.e.: Don't drink alcohol or use illicit drugs with people you don't really know.

According to recent statistics, more than half of sexual assault cases are not reported. Phoenix police said it's important to report the crime right away.

They provided ABC15 with the following list of what to do if sexually assaulted.

1. The victim should not delay reporting the incident to police.
2. The victim does not need to go to a hospital for an examination (unless there is injury requiring immediate medical attention). Police officers will respond and transport the victim to a facility where a Forensic Nurse Examiner will perform the exam.
3. The victim should not shower, wash, eat, drink or brush teeth until interviewed by a detective.
4. The victim should not tell anyone outside of law enforcement about what has occurred. A police detective will advise the victim (there are investigative techniques that can be hampered by others, including the suspect becoming aware of police involvement).
5. The victim should be absolutely honest about what happened and the events that led up to it happening. This can be most difficult for the victim but our investigators understand the victim's situation and they are trained professionals.

The Arizona Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program website provides a list of crisis hotline numbers and Arizona programs that offer help to rape victims.

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