Be Aware, Protect Yourself
The key to safety is being aware of places or situations that could put you at risk.
In Your Home
- Get to know your neighbours. Make arrangements to keep an eye on each other's homes when one of you is away.
- Draw drapes or close blinds after dark.
- Ensure that your outside doors and door frames are sturdy.
- Install a 180-degree peephole in your door.
- Do not open your door to strangers.
- List only your initials and last name on the mailbox or in the telephone book. Do not list your first name or indicate Mr., Mrs., Ms. or Miss.
- Have emergency telephone numbers on or near your phone.
- Make sure that all entrances are well lit.
- Do not hide spare keys outside your home.
- Be aware of your surroundings and evaluate your situation so you can make decisions about your safety. Stay alert in laundry rooms, parking garages and elevators. Avoid dark or secluded streets.
In Your Vehicle
- Have your keys ready when approaching your parked car. Check the inside of your car before opening the door.
- If you are being followed, drive to a police station or a busy public area, such as a 24-hour convenience store or gas station. Try to note the license plate number and make of the car. Do not drive home as the person may follow you and find out where you live!
- Park in well lit areas.
- Do not leave car registration and insurance documents in your vehicle. They show your address and other personal information.
- Keep your garage door opener out of sight until you need it. Thieves can use it to get into your home.
- If possible, always carry a cell phone with you.
In Your Community
- Plan your route ahead of time before going for a walk and let others know where you are going
- Walk with a companion if you feel that being alone may put you at risk.
- Stay on busier, well-lit streets. Avoid dark or concealed areas and never assume parked cars are empty
- Never hitchhike!
Every year, thousands of emergency room incidents are attributed to women being drugged without their knowledge or consent. Drinking alcohol is the leading cause of women being sexually assaulted at parties and night clubs - often when something is slipped into their drink when they aren't looking. Rohypnol and Extasy are two drugs that are regularly used in date-rape crimes.
- NEVER leave your drink unattended and DO NOT accept cocktails from someone you don't know.
- Stay with a group of people you know and trust when you are at parties or clubs.
- You can accept a drink you ordered from the bartender if you actually see him pour the drink and it is handed to you directly.
- Keep a hand over your drink to avoid someone slipping something into it when you are unaware.
- If a maintenance worker wants access to your hotel room, call the front desk to make sure it is a legitimate request.
- Remember the street address of the hotel where you are staying
Don't Give Stalkers Access
Keeping your personal information private is a valuable safety tool to prevent unwanted attention from a stalker.
- Request an unlisted telephone number.
- A cell phone may provide more privacy and flexibility. If a stalker gets your cell number, it is easier to change than a home number.
- Get a post office box number and use it on your Driver's License, as well as for all deliveries to your residence.
- Don't put your name on the list of tenants on the front of the building where you live.
- Change your e-mail address and don't allow unknown people access to your e-mail.
Trust your Intuition
Intuition is that chill down your spine, that tightening in your stomach, the hair standing up on the back of your neck when you just don't feel good about a situation or a place you are in.
Don't ignore those feelings! Respect them and respond accordingly! Whatever your instincts are trying to tell you, pay attention!
- If someone is following you too closely on the sidewalk, stop and tell them "you are following too closely, please go ahead of me". This is not being paranoid, this is trusting your instincts.
- If you enter your residence and it just doesn't feel right, it is okay to leave and call someone for help.