Walk on the part of the sidewalk closest to the street, as far away as
possible from shrubs, trees, and doorways.
Stay near people. Whenever possible, appear to be with a group of people.
Stay in well lit areas.
Avoid short cuts through parks, vacant lots, woods, alleys and other
deserted areas. Stay away from public parks at night.
Walk at a steady pace, appear confident and purposeful. An attacker expects
a passive victim, so if you walk slowly, you will seem vulnerable to an
Be alert to what is around you, listening for footsteps and voices nearby.
If you think you are being followed, don't go home! Head for the nearest
populated and lighted place. Change your pace; if the person changes pace to
stay behind you, cross the street, get to lighted areas, draw attention to
yourself and seek help. If possible, step into a nearby store or walk to a
crowded area such as a bus stop.
When being followed by a vehicle, quickly turn around and walk in the
Keep more than an arms distance from vehicles, even if they are only asking
Never hitchhike. Never! Once you're alone in a car with a
stranger, you've lost control of the situation. Never get into a stranger's
vehicle, even if your car breaks down. Stay in your locked vehicle, ask the
stranger to stop and call the police, or a wrecker service, to come and help
Do not go out at night alone. If you are alone, stay away from shopping
malls, convenience stores and grocery store parking lots. If you must go,
don't walk into the parking lot alone. Have a security guard escort you or
follow closely behind someone else.
After being out on the town, ask a friend, or a bar or restaurant employee
to walk you to your car.
When returning to your car, be alert to anyone under or around your car and
look inside before getting in.
Do not give into stalkers' demands to avoid becoming their prisoners.
Give stalkers specific rejections. Be blunt about not wanting anything to
do with them.
Document dates and times of phone calls and instances of being followed.
File police reports.
Work with the police.
Consider carrying a portable cellular phone so you can call for help.
Rape Crisis Centers offer support groups for rape and stalking victims.
Contact your local center.
If possible, have another person accompany you when using your ATM or
making a night deposit.
After dark, use an ATM/night deposit that is well-lit. Try to use a drive
up or one inside a supermarket, when possible. When at a drive-up ATM, lock
your vehicle doors. Take your keys when you leave your car.
Be alert and cautious of anyone loitering around the ATM/night deposit.
Always have an emergency plan of action in your mind. And stay alert to
everything that is going on around you.
Complete your transaction quickly, put your money away and leave
immediately. Always take your receipt as it has your account number on it.
Protect the Personal Identification Number that you use with your ATM. Do
not write it on the card, and stand in front of the machine when entering the
number so no one can see it.
Take precautions. When walking alone, make sure you have some type of
deterrent device and be ready to use it. Some examples are:
Umbrella: Use both hands to make quick jabbing motions to the eyes, neck,
Plastic Lemon: It will squirt about 15 feet. Aim for the eyes; momentary
blindness may provide time for escape.
Sharp pointed items: keys, pens, and pencils can be scraped across the
face and eyes or jabbed into the eyes, face or neck.
Fist: Aim fist or outside edge of hand in an upward motion to the
attacker's nose. Fingers may jab the attacker's eyes.
Personal safety and Defense classes give you mental and physical
preparedness. Contact the Rape Crisis Center or University Crime Prevention
Department for information.