How to react to attempted rape?

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Recognize the signs of attempted rape

Sexual violence is one of the most traumatic forms of violence. Recognizing the signs of attempted rape is crucial to not only protect yourself, but also to support victims in their quest for justice. So what are these signs? How to react and what support is available for victims?

Understand what attempted rape is

Attempted rape is a sexual assault in which the attacker attempts to sexually penetrate the victim against her will. It’s a violent act which aims to dominate and control the targeted person, often premeditated, and it is important to be able to recognize this.

Recognition of warning signs

The signs of attempted rape can be very varied, making them difficult to recognize. However, here are some common signs:

  • The abuser may test the victim’s limits by attempting to touch them inappropriately or making disturbing comments.
  • The abuser may try to isolate the victim, taking them to a secluded place or trying to separate them from friends or family.
  • The abuser may display aggression or dominance, as he attempts to assert power over the victim.

How to respond to attempted rape

Responding to an attempted rape can be extremely difficult. Here are some recommendations:

  • Attempt to escape the situation by excusing yourself to the bathroom, calling a friend, or drawing the attention of others to the incident.
  • Scream or escape, if possible without risking more serious violence.
  • After the incident, go to the hospital immediately for medical attention and to preserve evidence of the assault.

Get support

It is imperative for victims of attempted rape to seek support. Organizations such as the SOS Group, Rape-rescue And France Victims provide resources and support to victims.

Report the attempted rape

Victims of attempted rape should consider reporting the incident to the police, although it is a very personal decision. It is important to remember that the victim is in no way responsible for what happened: the fault lies entirely with the attacker.

The role of the entourage

The entourage of a victim of attempted rape plays a crucial role. It is essential to be there to support her, to believe her and respect her decisions, while helping her take care of herself and find support.

This guide aims to help recognize the signs of attempted rape, giving advice on how to respond and where to find support. It is a first step to combat this violence and support victims in their healing process.

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Learn to defend yourself during an attempted rape

It is crucial for every individual to know personal defense techniques, specifically in attempted rape scenarios. In this guide, we’ll look at basic personal defense strategies and how to get out of potentially dangerous situations.

Identify and recognize an imminent threat

The first step in protecting yourself from a potentially dangerous situation is being able to identify and recognize a threat. This could be someone behaving strangely or aggressively, situations where you feel trapped, or isolated places with no visible exit.

Why Personal Defense is Necessary

An attempted rape is not always a predictable event. However, theself-defense can greatly increase your chances of escaping from such a situation. It’s more than just learning combat skills; it’s also knowing how to be aware of your surroundings and understand human behavior.

Personal Defense Strategies

Here are some techniquesself-defense things you can learn to help you deal with attempted rape:

  • The voice: Using your voice to shout loudly can attract the attention of others and keep the attacker away.
  • Physical tactics: Movements such as hitting, kicking, biting can help you create an opportunity to escape.
  • Diversion techniques: Using diversionary tactics, such as throwing your wallet or cell phone, can provide a chance of escape.

Stay calm under pressure

Staying calm in a high-stress situation such as an attempted rape can allow you to think more clearly and make decisions that could potentially save your life. Practice breathing techniques to help you manage stress in an emergency.

Finding support after an attempted rape

If you are the victim of an attempted rape, it is important to find support as soon as possible. You can contact organizations such as the Crime Victim Support Center And the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers to receive immediate help and necessary support.

Ultimately, it is important to understand that the responsibility lies with the abuser, not the victim. Although self-defense techniques can increase the chances of survival, it is crucial that our society works collectively to eliminate the attitudes and behaviors that fuel rape and victim-blaming culture.

Remember, you are not alone. There is help available and it is important to seek it if you have been the target of such an attack.

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Coping with the situation after the attempted rape

Facing the situation after the attempted rape: Understanding and treating the trauma

You have just experienced an extremely traumatic situation: an attempted rape, an intolerable act of violence which can leave deep psychological scars. How to deal with this situation? It is first and foremost understanding what you are going through and knowing the key stages of the healing.

Above all, it is essential to realize that what happened to you is in no way your fault. The perpetrator of the attack is solely responsible for his actions. In the moments following such an ordeal, it is essential to take care of yourself and not minimize the psychological impact of what you have experienced.

First actions to take after an attempted rape

Here is a list of important steps to take after an attempted rape:

  • Go to a safe place where you feel safe.
  • Ask for help from a trusted person: a family member, a friend, a neighbor.
  • File a complaint with the authorities.

Surround yourself: the role of loved ones and professionals

Talking about what you have experienced to a trusted person can be beneficial, it can allow you to verbalize your pain and feel supported. Loved ones must listen, show compassion and understanding. If they don’t feel able to give you the help you need, they can help you contact a mental health professional.

Be accompanied by a psychologist or a psychiatrist is often essential to successfully overcome the trauma. These specialists will be able to offer adapted therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or virtual reality exposure therapy, to reduce the impact of the trauma.

Use dedicated associations

In each country, associations are present to help victims of sexual violence. For example, in France, the Feminist Collective Against Rape through your toll-free number Rape-Rescue offers listening, information and guidance for the steps to follow. These associations can also provide support when filing a complaint or during the trial.

Taking care of yourself: the role of self-care

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of self-care, this ability to take care of yourself can greatly help in overcoming trauma. This can take different forms: sophrology, relaxation, moderate physical activity, art therapy…

Going through such an ordeal is extremely difficult, but with help, patience and support, recovery is possible. Remember, you are not alone.

Useful resources

Name Description Contact
Feminist Collective Against Rape French association offering support and advice to victims of sexual violence, including attempted rape. 0 800 05 95 95

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Get help and file a complaint after an attempted rape


Strasbourg (67) : Un homme de 24 ans a été mis en examen pour viol, tentative de viol et agressions sexuelles. Il est soupçonné d’avoir agressé trois femmes.

♬ son original – HenrydeLesquen

Understand the importance of asking for help

It is essential for a victim of attempted rape to understand the importance of seeking help. Often victims may feel guilty, ashamed or afraid, but it is crucial not to remain silent. By talking about the abuse, you not only end the cycle of abuse, but you also take the weight of guilt and shame off your shoulders.

When and how to get help

Seeking medical help immediately is crucial after an attempted rape. This for various reasons; to do a general health check, check for injuries, to speak to health professionals who are trained to help victims of sexual violence, and to gather potential evidence. The first step would be to go to the nearest emergency department or a specially trained clinic. A well-known establishment in France is the Doctor of the World Medical Center.

  • Stay calm and try to remember as many details as possible.
  • Don’t take a shower.
  • If you can, save the clothes you were wearing at the time of the attack, as they can be used as evidence.
  • Avoid eating, drinking or smoking before contacting authorities.

File a complaint

As soon as you feel ready, it is important to file a complaint. Even if you were not physically injured, you can still report the incident to the police so they can investigate. In France, you can file a complaint either by going to a police station or directly to the Public Prosecutor. The competent authorities will launch an investigation, and if enough evidence is collected, they may bring charges against the attacker.

Be accompanied and supported

It is also important to seek emotional support after an attempted rape. There are associations specifically to help victims. In France, an example is Rape Women Information. Their services include support for victims of sexual violence, advice and information, prevention and awareness, as well as the promotion of legislation on sexual violence. Additionally, they offer support services through their free, anonymous crisis line.

Getting help and filing a complaint after an attempted rape is not an easy decision to make, but it is an essential step toward healing and helping prevent future abuse. Remember, you are not alone. There are people and organizations ready to help and support victims of sexual violence.

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