Suggestions for Personal Protection

Be on the Safe Side

Rape, robbery, purse snatching, mugging ... no one wants to be the victim of such a crime. We all think about the possibility but there is no need to be tormented by it. Crimes of violence occur least often. In other words, you are much more likely to have your property stolen than your life threatened.

Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. A dangling handbag invites a purse snatcher. An unlocked window invites an intruder. If you eliminate the opportunity, you could avoid the crime. Here's how ...

At Home

  • When changing addresses, change the locks as well. Rekeying or replacing the lock insures you are the only key holder. Install a dead bolt door lock and a peephole in the door.

  • Do not hide keys outside. They are too easily found.

  • A woman living alone should use her first and middle initial and last name in the phone book and on the mailbox. An unlisted phone number would be helpful.
  • Always lock your doors and windows,draw shades at night, and leave a few lights on.

  • Do not open the door to a stranger. Talk through the locked door or use a window to communicate with them.

  • Ask for identification from all repair persons. Call the company and confirm their employment if you are uncertain. Ask to see ID from any non-uniformed police officer before admitting them to your home.

  • Instruct children and baby sitters not to give out any information about who is home or who is out and for how long.

  • If you suspect your home has been broken into, don't go in or call out. Call the police immediately from a neighbors home.

In Your Car

  • Keep your doors locked and window rolled up most of the way.

  • If some one tries to break in to your car,honk your horn repeatedly.

  • If you are being followed, don't drive directly home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, hospital emergency entrance, or 24 hour business. Honk until you get attention from someone.

  • You should not travel at night when you know you have car trouble or are low on gas.

  • Look for a well lighted parking place and lock your vehicle. Preplan if you know you will be returning to your vehicle after dark.

  • If you must leave your key with a parking attendant or repair facility, leave only your car key. Never leave the keys to your house as they may be duplicated.

  • Before getting in to your car,check the back seat and floor for someone hiding there.

  • If your car breaks down, stay in the vehicle. Place a sign in the window asking for the police. Have a set of phone numbers you can give to someone if they stop to help. Crack your window and slip the paper to them.

Out Alone

  • At night, try to stay on well lighted streets, avoid doorways, dark shadows near buildings, and other potential hiding places.

  • If possible, walk with a friend.Carry a shriek alarm or other noise maker.

  • Consider taking the bus rather than walking. Sit near the driver if there are only a few riders.

  • In a cab or a friend's car, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside your home.

  • Do not be a hitchhiker and do not pick up hitchhikers.

  • Stay away from deserted laundromats or apartment house laundry rooms at night. Be cautious even in the daytime. Lock your apartment while in the laundry room.

  • Wallets should be carried in an inside or front pocket. Do not reveal your cash.

  • Purses should be tucked close to the body underneath the arm. Purses should not be secured to the body by the strap. Do not leave them on store counters or set them on the floor in restrooms or theaters.

  • Do not enter an elevator if you are suspicious of the passengers. Stand next to the control panel and get off if the need arises.

In Trouble

  • If a robber demands your valuables, give them up. Your money or your jewelry is not worth risking injury or your life.

  • Don't carry weapons such as guns and knives. They can easily be turned against you.

  • Be selective of new acquaintances. Remember, not all rapist are strangers. You can't tell by appearances.

  • If you are confronted by a rapist, try to stay calm and think before you react.

  • Remain calm. Retain or regain your emotional stability. Your panic can cause your assailant to panic and possibly hurt you.

  • Seeming to cooperate with your attacker may give you the time you need to devise a means of escape.

  • If your attacker is armed and threatens to harm you, your child or someone else, you may think twice about physically resisting or attacking him. Remember though, no one can tell you how to react. You should do what you feel is best for you.

  • Write down everything you can remember about your assailant. Call the police right away. Don't bath, change clothes, or touch anything.