A recent article in the Star Tribune’s Variety section, responding to the killings of female joggers in New York, Massachusetts and Michigan, advised women runners to wear reflective clothing and use keys as weapons in order to stave off potential attackers (“Women: A few tips for running safely” Aug. 23). Cue the eye roll from legions of female readers. I’ve found the following 10 rape-prevention techniques — which first appeared in 2011 on a blog for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and since have been shared widely on the internet — to be infinitely more valuable:
1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.
2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.
3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to rape her.
4. If you are in an elevator and a woman gets in, don’t rape her.
5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not rape her.
6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or rape her.
7. Remember, people go to the laundry room to do their laundry. Do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
8. Use the buddy system! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from raping women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you at all times.
9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to rape someone, blow the whistle until someone comes to stop you.
10. Don’t forget : Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be raping her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.
Heidi Seltz lives in Afton.