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Did I ask to be assaulted?

Dear Bunmi,

I attended a friend’s party recently and accepted an offer of a lift from one of the guests, as it was almost midnight. He’s not a boyfriend, though he’s fairly well known to me.

On the way home, he started fondling me and putting my hand on his crotch.

I told him in no uncertain terms what I thought of his action only for him to drive to a quiet spot and tried to rape me.

I fought him off very violently and escaped into the night. I nearly died of fright as I made my way back to the main road and had to walk for a long time before I arrived at another friend’s place, who put me up for the night.

Unfortunately, the man was not sorry for what he did and some of his friends agreed that sometimes, if you accept a lift you must expect to be made a pass at.

Is this fair?

Susan, by e-mail.

Dear Susan,

You can’t rule out bad behaviour amongst some men, no matter how respectable they look. Thankfully, not all of them are touts. To help you be on your guard, here are some tips experts advise you follow when going to a party or on a date:

Always tell someone which party you are going and when you expect to be back.

Carry a charged mobile and money if you are travelling by public transport. Don’t take drinks from strangers, or leave your drink unattended.

Met someone new? Don’t go home with them or ask them back. Arrange another date.

Agree with your mates to look out for each other. Then if you feel unsafe or ill, you’ll have someone to turn to.

Don’t ever walk home on your own. Don’t drink and drive.

Take car keys away from a friend who might be tempted.

On public transport, sit near the driver with an eye to the exit door. If using a taxi, avoid unlicensed ones (Kabu Kabu) and avoid a taxi that is already occupied.

Lastly, stay alert and aware. Think  ahead – what would you do if something went wrong?



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