Where you live
- Keep your doors and windows closed and locked at all times.
- Look through a peephole before opening the door. If you are alone and feel uncomfortable, ask the person to come back later.
- When talking to someone on the phone, do not give out your personal information. Make sure to get the person’s name and the reason for their call.
- If someone is being abusive to you, tell someone who you can trust. You can also report the abuse on the Abuse Hotline by calling (800) 962-2873 (1-800-96-ABUSE).
- If you feel that you are in immediate danger call 911 for help.
When you go out
- Always plan for a backup way home in case your ride falls through.
- Go out with trusted friends. There is safety in numbers.
- Don’t agree to plans that make you feel uncomfortable or unsure.
- Feeling safe is your number-one priority! Don’t ever compromise your safety to make someone else feel comfortable.
- Do not use drugs or alcohol; the use of these substances can impair your judgment and make it difficult to protect yourself.
When using public transportation
- Choose stops where others are waiting. If you have to wait alone, stay alert of your surroundings.
- If you have to take a bus or train at night, use stops that are well-lit and populated.
- When waiting, sit near a group of people. If someone makes you feel uneasy, move.
- On the bus or train, sit near the driver or conductor’s station. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, move.
- Rape and sexual assault are never the victim’s fault. Following some general safety rules can lower your risk of becoming a victim.
When walking/biking/roller skating
- Stay alert of your surroundings.
- Keep your hands free. Use a backpack, waist pouch or any type of carrier that can be slung across your shoulder or strapped around your waist or back.
- At night, stay in well-lit, populated areas and walk/bike/skate with another person.
- Avoid being out alone or in isolated areas.
- Plan your route and know the area.
- Identify places where you can go for help; know where emergency phones are located.
- Take special precautions in stairwells, elevators, bathrooms and dark and/or isolated areas with foliage and shrubbery.
- If you suspect that you are being followed, go to the nearest populated place. If you choose to flee, go as fast as you can and scream to attract attention. Scream “fire,” not “help” or “rape.”
- Always trust your gut instinct: If you sense danger, react immediately and get away.
- Never stop to give someone directions or answer a question. Keep walking/biking/skating. If someone approaches you, refuse them and keep going.
- Never accept a ride from a stranger or someone you have seen around, have known only a short while or someone who is a friend of a friend.