how to increase safety

 

at parties and bars

While you can never completely protect yourself from sexual assault, there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of being assaulted.

       ·         Do not accept open drinks, especially from strangers.  This includes any soft drink.  If you’re drinking from a bottle or can, open it yourself.

       ·         Never leave your drink unattended.  If you ask someone to watch it, make sure it is someone you trust.

       ·         Never go out to a bar, party or social event alone.  Go with a trustworthy friend.

Click here for tips on how to drink responsibly

 

on the street

Always carry yourself assertively.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Trust your instincts.  Be prepared to react accordingly.  If you need to respond to a situation in a verbally assertive manner – do so.  Deal with catcalls, unwanted comments or questions by walking away, or making your feelings known by telling the harasser to stop the behavior.

Other responses to uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations may include running away, yelling or fighting.  Assess your situations and react with clarity, purpose, determination and confidence.

Always carry a flashlight with it is dark.  Avoid poorly lighted streets, alleys, vacant lots and parking areas.  Keep a respectable distance from alley entrances and tall or overgrown shrubbery.  Walk on the side of the street where you face the traffic; you can see the approaching traffic and they can see you.

Never accept a ride from a stranger.  Never hitchhike – day or night.  Carry a loud whistle in your hand when you are walking.  If you find yourself in danger, blow the whistle.  Do anything you can to attract attention and get help.  (Do not depend entirely on an object such as a whistle to always be available in times of danger.  Whistles are fine – but no better than a loud yell.)

Be on the alert.  If you think you are being followed, turn around and look.  Project a strong, confident image.  Yell, head for bright lights and people.  Be ready.  Use your whistle.  Avoid carrying large bulky purses and packages.  They make it hard for you to keep your balance or more quickly.  Through high-heeled shoes and clogs are fashionable, they will get in your way if you have to react quickly to a dangerous situation.

 

in your residence

Always lock your door behind you whenever you leave your room – even if just to go to the restroom.

Lock your door when you and your roommate are sleeping.

Do not leave notes on your door stating that no one is home or when you will return; it’s an open invitation to a theft.

Keep your curtains closed at night.

Do not hide door keys outside and do not loan keys to anyone.

Positively identify anyone at your door before opening the door.

Get acquainted with your neighbors on your floor and in your building as quickly as possible.  Every resident has a role to play in security.  Part of the role is to know who belongs and who does not.

 

in your car

Car doors should always be locked.  When you are in the car, lock the doors.  When you leave the car, lock the doors.  Before getting in the car, check the floor and back for intruders.  When driving, keep the doors locked.  And remember – never pick up hitchhikers.

If you think you are being followed, drive to a busy, well lighted, populated area.  Honk your horn for help.  Flash your lights on and off.  Call the police.  Avoid out of the way stops, especially by yourself.  Do not drive in poorly lighted areas.  Make sure your care is operating properly and has sufficient gas before you leave home.  If you park in an open lot or a public garage, be aware of loiterers.  Always have your car keys in your hand ready to use, this helps you avoid fumbling for them in your purse or pocket.  Try to park in a lot or garage with an attendant.

Always park in well lit areas.  If you must work late, ask your employer or a friend to accompany you to your car, or plan to leave as a group.  When getting out of your care at home, always look around before unlocking the door.  Make sure your house key is out and ready to use.

Helping the driver of a stranded vehicle is admirable, BUT do not stop and get out of the car.  Stop at the nearest phone and call for help.  If a motorist stops to offer assistance, do not get out of the car.  Roll the window down slightly, just enough to allow appropriate hearing, and ask the motorist to call the police or sheriff’s department.

 

in the library

Avoid studying in overly secluded areas.  Study with others or in areas where there are other people.

Do not leave your belongings unattended.  It only takes a few seconds for a thief to take all of your belongings.

When leaving for the evening, call for a SAFEscort.  Public Safety Community Service Officers (CSOs) and officers provide escorts for individuals who have a concern for their safety while on campus.  The escort service is available 24 hours a day and accessible by calling (812) 237-5555 or using the "Info" button on the blue light phone system. 

 

on campus

Walk with a friend.

Stay in well-lit, well-populated areas.  Take the safest route, not the fastest route.

Be aware of your environment.  Don’t be afraid to look over your shoulders.  It’s not rude to maintain a safe distance between yourself and others.

Carry your keys in your hands.

Call for a SAFEscort (812) 237-5555

You should consider using the SAFEscort system if: