A SAFE action plan may help prevent sexual assaults by strangers

Salt Lake City — (KUTV) After a woman reported to police that she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in her vehicle in Sandy, Utah, experts say it could help if you prepare an action plan before the attack.

Advocates for sexual assault victims say this kind of attack is rare, but there are still steps that can be taken to try to decrease the chances of being victimized.

Turner Bitton with the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault says only seven percent of sex crimes are committed by strangers. Typically, those committing such a crime are likely to be repeat offenders.

Experts say to think S-A-F-E.

S -- SECURE your car and home. Carry a flashlight in your car as a weapon and lock your doors at all times.

A -- AVOID unsafe places and people. Avoid walking alone or in the dark.

F -- FLEE if you are attacked. Run and scream and get away if you can. 

E -- ENGAGE your attacker if you can't get away. Be firm and try to think and talk yoru way out of it and fight. Use your keys or hair spray or anything to get away.

Bitton also said that even if you don't do these things, it doesn't mean you deserve to be victimized.

"If this happens to you, this is not your fault. Nobody is to blame in this circumstance except for the perpetrator," Bitton said.

This piece originally appeared on KUTV.com. Click here to read the original article.