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You may feel guilty because you did not do anything to prevent the victimization. But if you had intervened, you would have taken a serious risk of being hurt or even killed. Most of us have the self-centered belief that whatever happens around us is a result of something we did or did not do. It is difficult to accept that we cannot control everything that happens.

Fear of retaliation by the assailant is normal, however, it is unlikely the offender would recognize you. Remember, he usually is interested in leaving the area as quickly as possible without being recognized. The suspect is thinking mostly about the crime and tends not to notice details such as what you look like. Even in stranger-to-stranger sexual assaults, research reveals that the offender does not remember what the victim looks like even if he accidentally sees her in public.

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