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SAFETY SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED
Posted September 1st, 2009 - 12:49 am by from Brooklyn, United States (Permalink)
During Couch Crash myself with a few women got to talk about safety.

It all started when I heard about a female CouchSufer from Japan who was raped by her host.

I shared how on NYE I woke up to find the lead singer to Joe Che’s band groping me.
Joe was there, saw it, did nothing and till this day Joe will defend his lead singer. Knowing fully well what was done to me was a violation of my physical body.

After I shared my story a bunch of other females started coming forward talking about how the same thing has happened to them. These women also spoke about how the Ambassadors in there hometowns do not do anything, specially the male Ambassadors.

Since the Male Ambassadors are useless.

I am officially developing a protocol on what to do.


If Couch Surfing was a community something would have been done.
So I am taking action.

Posted September 1st, 2009 - 12:58 am by from Brooklyn, United States (Permalink)
The number to dial for a Police Officer, Medical Help, Or Fire Department is 911.

To dial an Operator to direct a call is: 0 (Zero)

Use these steps in reporting sexual assault:
When reporting sexual assault, document as many details as possible, as soon as possible. Accurate recall of events will fade quickly, and documentation in sufficient detail soon after an incident is thought of as more reliable evidence in the legal proceedings that will follow.

Note the location and time of any events. Describe the number and characteristics of the assailant or assailants. Write down as much detail as possible about the circumstances surrounding the assault as soon as possible after the assault. Make an effort to recall each and every aspect of what occurred during the assault and turn over this information to law enforcement. Each of these details increases the chances that the suspect will be caught and successfully prosecuted:

Each activity
The sequence of activities
How long each activity lasted
What was said and by whom
The number of times that resistance was offered
The type of resistance
Any unusual details
Any associated physical assault
Any pain
Types of threats that were used
Whether weapons were talked about, used, or seen during the assault
Any bodily fluids seen or felt
Any injuries that may have been inflicted on the assailant

Maintain as much evidence as possible in its intact state. Do not wipe away or throw away any secretions that can be identified. Do not wash or change clothing, bedding, furniture, or any fabric. Put these items into dry paper bags and seal them.

Resist the strong urge to clean up by washing, showering, and douching. You will be given a special sexual assault examination by trained health professionals at a hospital, and specimens that will be collected are very important in proving the guilt of the assailant. Many of these specimens contain DNA evidence that can provide conclusive proof of the identity of the assailant.
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Forms of sexual assault with force:

Sexual assault can include any adult sexual activity.
Contact or penetration of the vagina with the penis (intercourse, rape)

Anal contact or penetration (sodomy)
Oral contact of the male on the genitalia of the female (cunnilingus)

Oral contact of the female on the genitalia of the male (fellatio)

Hand to genitalia contact (masturbation, fondling, or penetration)

Contact between any body parts and the private parts of another can be construed as lewd and lascivious conduct or sexual battery (a legal term for any other ill-defined behavior that is intended to arouse sexual pleasure for the assailant). Lewd and lascivious conduct and sexual battery are very broad categories of sexual assault used by law enforcement when exactly what happened is not clear.


Forced nudity, photography, and video of people in sexual poses against their wishes are also forms of sexual assault.

Forms of sexual assault without force: In other sexualized behaviors, including groping in crowds, secret photographing, or peeping, force or fear of harm may be absent due to the nature of the activity. These behaviors are still regarded as sexual assault. When the acts are ill defined, the lack of consent and the intent to arouse sexual gratification will be used as a test to determine if the behavior is a sexual assault.

Date rape: Date rape is a sexual assault that occurs when you already have a relationship with the person who assaulted you and you have agreed to be with that person in some form or another (such as to be on a date). A date, however, does not imply any consent for sexual contact, and a sexual assault that takes place during a date is still a sexual assault and will be treated as such by law enforcement.
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Terms and Concepts in Sexual Assault

Consent

Consent is the conscious and considered agreement to voluntarily engage in sexual activity with another. Under certain conditions, consent is considered to be denied regardless of any actions on the part of the victim. Those conditions include compulsion, fear of great harm, threats with real or alleged weapons, the use or threat of physical injury or brute force.

People who are mentally compromised or intoxicated are considered by the law incapable of giving consent, even if they appear to be consenting.

When fear or intimidation is used, it is not necessary for a victim to resist or say "no" to establish that sexual assault has taken place. Intimidation of any sort invalidates any legal defense based upon the idea that the victim consented. Nonconsent is implied in all cases of intimidation.

If you begin sexual intimacy, you must use extra care at all times to be certain that the person to whom you are making sexual advances is of sound mind and consenting to whatever acts are taking place at all times during the contact.

Nonconsent

People who are in control of their faculties should use conventional words and actions to indicate nonconsent and resistance to unwanted sexual advances.

People who are compromised (intoxicated, mentally incompetent, or in an altered state of consciousness) are considered by the law to be incapable of consenting, whether they appear to be consenting or not.

If you are starting sexual contact, you must be very careful to determine if any of these compromising conditions exist. If you have even the slightest doubt about the mental state of the proposed sexual partner, you should not start sexual activity, and you should make every effort to protect the compromised person.

Intoxication and sexual assault

Intoxication is involved in many accusations of sexual assault.

Intoxication affects memory and consciousness. Lower levels of intoxication can lead to brief loss of memory for specific events. Higher levels can lead to blackouts where people appear to be awake and participating but do not remember what happened. Extreme levels can lead to complete states of unconsciousness (passing out), where the unconscious person can be taken advantage of without any participation, and the victim has no ability to resist sexual assault at all.

As a rule, when either person is intoxicated, it is best to stop intimate behavior. If one person is more intoxicated than the other, the less intoxicated person may be held responsible for any sexual behaviors that occur. Remember that any compromise of the victim will be construed as nonconsent by law enforcement regardless of the circumstances.

Involuntary intoxication or the intentional drugging of people with alcohol or other drugs, classified as "date rape drugs" (drugs that alter mental consciousness), can lead to allegations of rape by intoxication, a much more serious form of sexual assault.

Even if one person is voluntarily intoxicated, however, complications can arise in many situations. For the recipient of sexual advances, the decrease in self-restraint and a more thoughtless and carefree attitude toward intimacy can lead to sexual intimacy that is not preplanned.

Intoxicated people may also appear to give consent by appearing to enjoy what they are doing and actively participating even though ultimately they may not remember what happened (if they are in a blackout state). When they look back on the encounter, they may feel they have been violated, although at no time did they act as if they were being violated and in fact may have been actively and enthusiastically participating. For example, a person may be consenting to the sexual activity just because he or she is intoxicated. If that person were sober, he or she might not agree to have sex. In situations like these, the intoxication level of the victim can contribute to the accusation of sexual assault.

If the initiator of sexual intimacy is also intoxicated, the situation is further complicated. First, their ability to make valid decisions about consent or nonconsent is compromised. If both people are compromised, finding out exactly what happened during the sexual encounter is more difficult. If legal action is initiated and neither person has a clear idea of what happened, guilt or innocence becomes more difficult to determine. In any case, intoxication of the alleged assailant is a very weak legal defense against allegations of abuse.

In general, it is best not to plan on engaging in any sexual activity if the use of intoxicants is planned, particularly if the relationship with that person is not well established.

Communicating consent or nonconsent

When you begin to be sexually intimate, both parties should be careful to get the consent of the other party. If you are the one to start the contact, you must be sensitive to the acceptance or nonacceptance of any sexual advances. If someone is making advances toward you, you must give clear signals of your feelings at any and all stages of the intimacy. If you change your mind during intimacy and want to stop, you should clearly state it, and the other party must stop immediately.

Resistance to sexual assault

You should attempt to resist sexual assault both verbally and physically. Clearly stating "no," "stop," or other demonstrative words that indicate that you want the intimacy to stop is an important behavior to deter inappropriate advances and clearly demonstrate your feelings. When these words are clearly said, yet ignored, these statements are helpful in proving that an assault took place.

Frequently, if you have your wits about you in these stressful situations, you can use psychological tactics, persuasive conversation, or physically attempt to extricate yourself from a dangerous situation. Physical resistance can be effective in the absence of weapons, particularly in date rape or spousal rape situations. Physical resistance can make certain sexual acts more difficult or even impossible to complete and clearly communicates nonconsent beyond any doubt.

Under other circumstances, however, resisting sexual assault can be more dangerous than the assault itself. With the use of weapons or brutal force, resistance is likely to lead to a greater number of injuries, more serious injuries, and possibly death. Some victims correctly elect to submit. This does not in any way imply consent nor change the nature of the sexual assault.

No reaction under these frightening and unfamiliar circumstances is incorrect. Resist as far as you are able, and then use survival tactics. Surviving an assault is the most important thing. Most victims will recover from any physical injuries related to a sexual assault without physical problems, and most sexually related medical problems can be managed without long-term consequences.

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Sexual harassment and sexual assault

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The key to determining sexual harassment is that the advances are unwelcome.

Many women are subject to varying degrees of sexual harassment in the workplace, schools, and other environments where they spend their time. All ages and both sexes can be affected by sexual harassment, but younger females are more vulnerable because of inexperience and fear of adults.

Sexual harassment usually occurs in a situation where the harasser has some sort of control or ability to dominate a person. While most cases of sexual harassment do not lead to sexual assault, directly informing the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop is imperative. The victim should use any and all demonstrative behaviors, employer complaint mechanisms, or grievance systems to terminate such unwelcome advances.

Harassers, when not confronted, can feel empowered to go further and set up situations in which other sexual activity or a sexual assault can occur. The importance of taking definitive action early decreases the small but documented potential for sexual harassment to turn into sexual assault.

Remorse, guilt, anger, and regrets after consensual sexual activity

Feelings of remorse, guilt, anger, and regrets about a particular consensual sexual encounter have led to many accusations of sexual assault. People, whether conscious or unconscious with clear memory or not, can have bad feelings after consensual intercourse and feel that they have been violated.

If they have a poor recollection or no recollection of what happened, people occasionally fill that void in memory with thoughts that they may have been or must have been sexually assaulted.

Even women who are conscious and uncompromised can be unclear about their desire for sexual intimacy and may engage in sexual activity at times when they are not sure what they are doing is right. Later, they may have regrets or remorse about what they have done for any number of reasons. Dates that did not work out as expected, bad behavior by the man after intimacy, or misunderstandings about the feelings of the other party can lead to vindictive behaviors, which occasionally can include allegation of sexual assault when none occurred.

If you have regrets or second thoughts about a sexual encounter, carefully evaluate what occurred to determine if the other party had any indication that they were acting against consent. If there is no indication that consent had been withdrawn, then sexual assault did not take place.

Preventing Sexual Assault

Take care at all times to identify people and situations that may lead to sexual assault. The chances of being a victim can be lowered by following these practices:

Train in self-defense.

Use common sense in choosing the people you associate with.

Avoid potentially dangerous situations when outside or in your house (answering the door) and when interacting with strangers anywhere.

Avoid intimate or solo contact with people that you do not know well.

If a person is making unwelcome sexual advances, no matter how minor, take action in the earliest stages and make every effort to disassociate from that person.

Use self-control when drinking alcohol.

At social events, be careful about what you consume and who has access to your drinks.

Avoid extreme intoxication in which you lose control, especially when you are not in a protected environment.

Adopt an approach in dating and getting to know people that involves postponing being alone together, intimacy, and sexual interaction until you feel you have gotten to know the person very well.

When intimacy is initiated between consenting parties, make limitations on what you want to do known, make them clear early in the encounter, and send clear messages to the other person about your feelings.


Think about how you would react in an assault situation in advance and use that plan early and without reservation.

Posted September 1st, 2009 - 12:59 am by from Brooklyn, United States (Permalink)
Below is a link from Google with a listing of places you can take self defense.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&source=hp&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=self+defense+classes+in+new+york+city&fb=1&split=1&gl=us&view=text&ei=unGcSpfmLt2c8QaDlYiyBQ&sa=X&oi=local_group&ct=more-results&resnum=1