Rape Crisis Center Offers Rape Prevention Tips, Classes
A police sketch of a suspected serial rapist.
One man accused of raping three women now has police saying they're looking for a serial rapist.
"Our main concern right now is the safety of the women of the Coastal Empire," said SCMPD spokesman Bucky Burnsed. "We urge women to take precautions. Curtail nightly activities and travel with somebody else. Lonely wolves make easy prey."
The latest attack happened early Saturday morning at the Plantation Apartments in Richmond Hill. Police say a man carjacked a woman and her two-year-old son from the parking lot, then raped her. Investigators say there are many similarities between this case and two other rapes that happened in Savannah a few weeks ago.
Here's a sketch of the suspect police are looking for. If you see this man or know who he is, you are asked to call police immediately.
With a serial rapist on the loose, the Rape Crisis Center is warning women to be on guard. The first thing women should do is always be aware of their surroundings.
Rape crisis officials also say many rapes don't get reported because so many times the victims are too scared to come forward.
"Most rapes are planned, he knows exactly what he's doing," said the center's Mary McAlister. "We don't know what he's doing or who he is."
But what they do know is that rapists commit these crimes because it makes them feel powerful. "That's what rape is all about," said McAlister. "It's about power and control and he wants to be in control and he wants to be powerful over you and make you do what he wants."
For many women, self-defense classes teach them how to be proactive and give them the power they need to fend off a possible attack. "Most perpetrators are looking for someone they see as being vulnerable, someone who seems like they're not paying attention, maybe they're afraid to make eye contact," said McAlister.
McAlister says it's important for women not to bring attention to their own behavior that just might attract a sexual predator. "Anyone can be a victim at any time, and so just by being alert to your own body language and his body language and anything that makes you uncomfortable," said McAlister.
Women should also be aware of their surroundings at all times, because rapes often happen when the victim least expects it.
Self-defense classes are being offered by the Rape Crisis Center in Savannah. Call 233-3000 to sign up. Class will be held on October 4 and 5 from 6pm to 9pm.
If you or somebody you know has been a victim of rape, call 1-888-232-7273 or call police. Do not take a shower or try to clean yourself up. Police and a member from the Rape Crisis Center will have an expert to help you go through the process of getting a physical exam.