Reducing Your Vulnerability


Awareness and Preventive Measures


       Be alert! Be aware and observant of your surroundings.

       Walk with confidence and purpose.

       Avoid alcohol or other drugs that could cloud your judgment.

       Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, and restaurants, or stores that are open late.

       Walk in well-lit areas. Be wary of isolated spots - apartment laundry rooms, underground garages, parking lots, and offices after business hours.

       Do not walk alone. Walk with a friend, co-worker, or security guard.

       Lock your doors.

       Be wary when inviting someone to your residence or accepting an invitation to his or hers.

       Don't flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like jewelry or clothing.

       Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket, not a back pocket.

       Try to use automated teller machines in the daytime. Have your card in hand and don't approach the machine if you're uneasy about people nearby.

       Don't wear shoes or clothing that restricts your movements.

       Trust your INSTINCTS! If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave. Respond as soon as you feel uncomfortable!

       Learn self-preservation defense techniques.


Awareness Near Home


       Be sure the doors of your residence are locked; when you are home or away.

       Know your neighbors, so you have someone to call or go to if you feel threatened.

       Use peepholes to identify people before opening the door.

       Require identification from service providers. Don't be embarrassed to call into the service providerís office for verification.

       Don't strangers inside your residence to use the phone; make the call for them.

       Never indicate to anyone that you are alone.

       Close curtains and shades at night.

       List your initials of your first name on your mailbox and in the telephone directory.

       Avoid isolated areas such as laundries or parking garages, especially at night.

       Always have your key ready for quick entry into your residence.

       Have a telephone readily available near your bed for quick use at night.

       If you find a door or window open or signs of forced entry upon arriving at your residence, don't enter. Go to the nearest phone and call the police.


Awareness When Walking

       Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night.

       Stay in well-lighted areas; avoid alleys, bushes, entryways, shortcuts through wooded areas, or parking lots.

       Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace.

       Walk on the side of the street facing traffic.

       If anyone in a car asks you for directions keep your distance from the car when answering.

       Don't hitchhike and only accept rides from people you know well.

       Carry a whistle.

       If you are threatened attract help any way you can.

       If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lighted house. If you're scared, yell for help.

       Have to work late? Make sure there are others in the building, and ask someone - a colleague or security guard - to walk you to your car or transit stop.


Awareness in Your Car

       Have your key ready when you approach your vehicle.

       Check inside your vehicle before entering.

       Always roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you're coming right back. .

       Park in well-lighted areas.

       Avoid parking in isolated areas, remote lots or underground parking garages.

       Don't pick up hitchhikers. Don't hitchhike.

       Keep your vehicle in good repair. Make certain you have enough fuel.

       Remain inside your vehicle if you develop mechanical trouble. Keep the doors locked and the windows up until help arrives. To signal distress, put up the hood or display a sign. If someone stops to offer help, don't leave the vehicle; ask that they call the police or a service provider.

       If involved in a minor collision at night or in an isolated location, do not exit to inspect damage or contact the other driver. Signal the other driver with your lights, and proceed to the nearest lighted and occupied business or police station.

       If you are followed, drive to the nearest open business for help, or go to a police or fire station.

       When dropping someone off wait until they have safely entered the destination.


Awareness on Buses and Subways


       Use well-lighted, busy stops.

       Stay alert! Don't doze or daydream.

       If someone harasses you, don't be embarrassed. Loudly say, "Leave me alone!" and distance yourself from the person. If that doesn't work, hit the emergency device.

       Watch who exits with you. If you feel uneasy, walk directly to a place where there are other people.

       Donít feel embarrasses to get back on the transit vehicle and go to the next stop.

       Share your concerns with the attendant.

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