- Accept the fact that you are a potential assault victim. Many people operate under the illusion that “it will never happen to me.” It may.
- Above all else…trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, leave immediately.
- When you go out, tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
- Always lock your house/apartment door and don’t lend the key. Keys can be duplicated.
- Don’t walk alone at night. Take a friend with you.
- Stay in well-lit areas.
- Photocopy all important papers that you carry in your purse or wallet, including your driver’s license. Keep the photocopies in a safe place. This information will be invaluable if you lose your license or cards.
On the Street
- Be alert. Look around you. Be aware of others on the street. Make it difficult for anyone to take you by surprise. Walk with your keys in hand.
- If you think someone is following you, turn around and check so that you are not caught off guard. Cross the street or change direction. Walk or run toward people, traffic, or lights. Consider confronting the aggressor and saying in a loud, firm voice, “Don’t follow me.”
- If a car follows you or stops near you for directions, do not approach the car. Change directions if you feel threatened and walk or run towards stores, a lighted house, or other people.
In Your Car
- Park in well-lit areas. Check the street before leaving the car. Park in full view of the front of stores and houses.
- Walk to your car with keys ready.
- As you approach your car, look all around it, including underneath the car.
- If you have a flat tire, seek help inside the College, or from a nearby business if off-campus. Beware of someone instantly appearing to offer help—attackers often disable cars to make their owners vulnerable.
- Check the interior of your car, particularly the back seat before entering; someone could be hiding there.
- Keep the car doors locked at all times, even when driving in daylight, so no one can jump in at a red light.
- Keep enough gas in your tank for emergencies.
- If you are followed by another car, drive to a police station or business that has lights on and people in it. You may not want to go directly home with someone following you. “Driveway” robberies are becoming more common.
- If your car breaks down, lift the hood, put on the flashers, and wait inside with the doors locked for help. Ask people who stop to call the police or AAA for you. Don’t go with anyone.
- Don’t stop for stranded motorists. You are of greater help to them by calling the police or sheriff.
- Try to jog with a partner. Try to avoid running alone, even in daylight. You could become injured from a fall and might need help.
- Stay in well-lit areas. Vary your route. Be suspicious of people you pass many times.
- Stay away from parked cars, especially those occupied by suspicious persons.