Crime prevention is key to stopping the ability and opportunity for a criminal. The use of instinct, knowledge, common sense, and awareness can make you a tough target.
Three Basic Rules
- Stay Alert and TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.
- Keep your mind on your surroundings, who's in front of you and who's behind you. Don't get distracted.
- Walk purposefully, stand tall, and make eye contact with people around you.
- Make yourself a "tough target".
- Don't think that it can't happen to you.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- If being followed or stalked, call 9-1-1.
If You're Attacked
- Keep your head. Stay calm as possible and evaluate your options and resources.
- If may be more advisable to submit than to resist and risk severe injury or death. You will have to make this decision based on the circumstances.
- Keep assessing the situation as it is happening. If one strategy doesn't work, try another. Possible options include negotiating, stalling for time, distracting the assailant, verbal assertiveness, screaming and physical resistance.
After a Sexual Assault
- Go to a safe place and call 9-1-1.
- The sooner you report the crime, the greater the chances your attacker will be caught.
- DO NOT shower, bathe or destroy any clothing you were wearing. Do not disturb any physical evidence.
- Go to the hospital emergency room for medical care.
- Call someone to be with you. You should not be alone. Contact a rape treatment or crisis center to help you.
- Keep your car in good condition with the gas tank at least half full.
- Park in well lit areas and lock your doors, no matter how long you'll be gone.
- Put valuables out of sight or in the trunk.
- Check front seats, rear seats and floorboards before entering your car.
- Never pick up hitchhikers!
- If your car breaks down, put the hood up, lock the doors, turn on the flashers, and move to the passenger seat. Do not leave your car.
- When parking or returning to your vehicle, carry your keys and be aware of your surroundings.
- Use well lit and frequently used stops.
- Try to sit near the driver or conductor.
- Be alert to who gets off the bus or train with you. If you feel uncomfortable, walk directly to a place where there are other people.
- Look in the elevator before getting in.
- Stand near the controls.
- Get off if someone suspicious enters. If you're worried about someone who is waiting for the elevator with you, pretend you forgot something and don't get on.
- If you're attacked, hit the alarm and as many floor buttons as possible.
Home and Neighborhood
- Good locks, simple precautions, neighborhood awareness, and common sense can help prevent most property crimes.
Locks, Doors, and Windows
- Install and use good deadbolt locks in your doors (about half of all burglars enter through unlocked doors and windows).
- Secure sliding glass doors with locks or a rigid wooden dowel wedged in the track.
- Lock double-hung windows by sliding a bolt or nail into a hole drilled at a downward angle through the top of each sash and into the frame.
- Trim back shrubbery hiding doors and windows. Cut back tree limbs that could help a thief climb to a second story window.
- Make sure all porches, entrances, and yards are well lit.
- Maintain the neighborhood. Dark alleys, litter, and rundown areas attract criminals.
- Do not hide house keys in mailboxes, planters, or under doormats.
- Do not put personal identification on key rings.
- Leave only your ignition key with mechanics or parking attendants.
- If you lose the keys to your home or move into a new home, change the locks immediately.
Answering the Door
- Install a peephole or viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door.
- Do not open the door to anyone you do not know. Insist that service personnel verify their identity before allowing them in.
Answering the Telephone
- Don't give any information to "wrong number" callers.
- Check references of any person calling about a survey or credit check before offering information.
- Hang up immediately on threatening or harassing calls.
- Make your home appear occupied when you go out.
- Leave lights on and the radio playing.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Use timing devices to turn inside lights on and off.
- If you will be gone several days, arrange to have the mail and papers stopped or picked up. Half of all home burglaries during the day when alert neighbors could spot and report the thieves.