Personal Safety Information from the Atlanta Police Department
Victims of sexual assault should never be blamed for these unacceptable acts. There are steps anyone can take, however, to lessen their chances of being targeted by those who choose to commit these crimes. Following these simple, common sense measures can increase your personal safety.
Avoid situations which would place you in a vulnerable situation
- For example, visiting another student’s dorm room at 3 a.m., separating from groups of friends while partying, walking alone after dark, or meeting men promoting business opportunities in the entertainment industry. Go through a reputable talent agent to pursue modeling and acting careers. Also, make sure your cellular phones are always charged and operable.
Proper planning prevents accidents and incidents
- Know how you are traveling to and from events (Try not to deviate from the plan).
- Advise someone where you are going (There are safety applications which provide GPS locations to friends and family; also some of these applications have emergency notification features).
- If you make new plans, be sure to create a new safety plan. Avoid last minute decisions without a plan.
Drink alcohol responsibly and certainly limit consumption in new and foreign environments
- Friends should gauge tolerance levels and protect friends in vulnerable situations.
- Never go home with someone you just met after consuming alcohol.
- Do not drink one-on-one with men and women you just met, especially in a residence hall or apartment.
- Do not allow strangers to give you a ride home.
- Do not accept drinks from someone you do not know.
- Do not leave drinks unattended.
- No means no.
- Trust your senses and speak up if you see a situation going in the wrong direction. This includes car rides where you suddenly feel uncomfortable and are not aware of your current location or where you are going. Contact someone immediately or ask the driver to pull over.
- Let the person know you will not be going to his/her apartment.
- Stay in the car and call a friend if the person, for instance, informs you “Come on up to my apartment, I left my coat, it will only take a second”. Was this a part of the initial plan you set in mind for yourself? If it deviates in any way, call for help immediately.
First, go to a safe place immediately, then do the following:
- Consider reporting the assault to the police.
It is your choice to report the rape. For the quickest response, call 911 to be connected to the nearest police department. For investigative purposes, the sooner you report the rape the better. If you choose not to report the assault immediately, you can still do so at a later time. Remember the location of the assault.
- Tell someone who will help and support you.
Call a trusted friend, family member, and/or rape crisis hotline. Call Grady Rape Crisis hotline (404) 616-4861 to be connected to a rape crisis center for free and confidential assistance 24 hours/day. They can offer options and help you identify what is best for you.
- Seek medical care.
Your safety and health is important. A doctor or nurse can check for injuries that may not be visible and can treat you for possible sexually transmitted infections. Hospital staff may also perform a sexual assault exam to collect evidence. You may also elect to go to your own family care physician for medical assessment and treatment.
- Preserve evidence.
If you think you might want to have a sexual assault examination, do your best to preserve evidence. Do not shower, bathe, eat, drink, wash your hands, or brush your teeth until after you have had the exam. If you believe you were drugged wait to urinate until you arrive at the hospital. However, if you can’t wait, collect your first urine in a clean container with a lid and take it to the emergency room or police station with you.
Call Grady Rape Crisis hotline (404) 616-4861 or 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) to be connected to a rape crisis center for free and confidential assistance 24 hours/day.
Atlanta Victim Assistance, Inc., City Court of Atlanta
150 Garnett Street, Atlanta, GA 30303
Facts and Statistics about Rape and Sexual Assault
- In 2010 there were 188,380 reports of rape and/or sexual assault in the United States.
- More than half of rape and sexual assault crimes take place between 6pm and 6am.
- Females are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault (182,000) than males (40,000).
- Most victims of rape or sexual assault are females younger than 24 years of age.
- Most rapes committed against women are committed by an intimate partner (spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend) or someone else they know (friend, family member, acquaintance).
What is the statute of limitations for rape in Georgia?
- The statute of limitations for forcible rape is 15 years after the commission of the crime. O.C.G.A. § 17-3-1(b)
- The statute of limitations for other crimes punishable by death or life imprisonment is seven years after the commission of the crime. O.C.G.A. § 17-3-1(b)
- There is no statute of limitations for a rape prosecution where DNA evidence is used to establish the identity of the accused. O.C.G.A. § 17-3-1(d)(3)
- The applicable rape statute of limitations begins to run when the victim reaches the age of 16 or when the violation is reported to law enforcement. O.C.G.A. § 17-3-2.1(a)
- There is no statute of limitations. O.C.G.A. § 17-3-2.1(b)
- The statute of limitations for sexual assault in Georgia is four years after the commission of the crime. O.C.G.A. § 17-3-1(c)
- If the victim is under the age of 18 on the date of the violation, the statute of limitations is seven years after the commission of the crime. O.C.G.A. § 17-3-1(c)