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On the Street

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 attack.

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 opposite direction.

Keep more than an arms distance from vehicles, even if they are only asking for directions.

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 you.

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.


Stalker Safety

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.


ATM Safety

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.


Extra Precautions

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, groin

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.


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