This page is dedicated to providing information regarding basic safety tips. Please remember, this webpage has been designed to educate; you must make you own decisions about the situations you are faced with at the time of the occurrence.
Self Defense and the Law
You have the right to defend yourself whenever it is necessary, with as much force as is necessary to ensure your safety when assaulted or detained against your will.
- The situation must call for defensive actions in order to use physical force against another person.
- You must use a proportionate amount of force necessary to defend yourself and escape.
- You must be protecting yourself against imminent harm of injury, sexual assault or abduction.
- The force being used must be responsive to an ongoing or presently imminent threat.
- There are many classes offered that provide instruction in self defense.
- Call the police whenever possible:
- Obtain a good description of a person and/or a vehicle
- Not knowing all the of the circumstances of a situation can be dangerous because of:
- Mistaking the victim for the attacker
Reducing the Risks to your Personal Safety...
- Shades in your windows should be made from a heavy material to prevent silhouetting. Shades should be drawn shut.
- Invest in solid doors.
- Install peepholes in your exterior doors.
- Ask who is at the door prior to opening it.
- Windows and doors should be kept locked.
- Spare keys should not be hidden on your own property.
- Your telephone should have a lighted keypad.
- Install alarm systems and video surveillance.
Outside your Home
- Outdoor lighting will greatly deter crime.
- Shrubs and bushes should be trimmed and kept cut 6” below window ledges.
- Do not walk close to bushes where someone may be waiting in hiding.
- Do not list your name on your mailbox.
Out and About
- Leave outside lights on if you know you will be returning after dark.
- If you know your neighbors well…give them emergency contact numbers for notification purposes.
- If, upon returning home, you see anything that seems out of the ordinary (exterior doors ajar, cut screens, etc.), you should call the police. Do not enter your home and risk personal injury or worse. Also, by entering your home in this instance, you may be destroying evidence of a crime.
In Parking Lots
- Try to park in well-lit areas.
- Back into a space, rather than pulling into a space.
- When returning to your parked vehicle, try not to walk too close to the other parked vehicles. Walk in the center of the access way whenever possible.
- Avoid parking next to vans.
- Have the key to your vehicle door ready. The key can be used as a tool for self-defense. DO NOT lace the keys between your fingers!!
- Do not sit in your vehicle for an unnecessary amount of time.
- Immediately leave the parking lot after returning to your vehicle.
In Your Car
- Visually check your car: look under the car and in the back seat prior to entering the vehicle.
- Keep your windows rolled up and the doors locked.
- Keep valuables out of view.
- If you are followed…do not stop and confront the person. Drive to a populated area or a police station. Try to remain in areas that you are familiar with to avoid getting trapped on a dead end road.
- Never pick up hitchhikers!
- Keep you vehicle in good operating order.
- If you break down don’t accept a ride from a passerby. If someone stops to ask if they may assist you…ask them to call the police or a tow truck for you.
- Obtain a cellular phone. 911 calls do not require packaged service airtime.
- Remove your house keys from your key ring when having your vehicle serviced.
- Do not list your home address as "home" in your GPS system.
- Avoid displaying your name on your license plate.
While Using Public Transportation
- Use a business card for your luggage ID Tag.
- Place your work address inside your luggage in the event that your luggage gets lost.
- Sit in a seat located near the door when riding on a bus or train.
- Be aware of other people on the elevator. Attempt to stand next to the control panel, but don’t hit the STOP button.
- Do not let your personal effects out of your view.
On a Date
- When dating someone new, whom you don’t know well, make plans to meet the other party at a public location.
- Tell a friend: who you are going out with, where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Take their phone number, rather than give your number to them.
- Make note of the person's clothing, facial feature, type of vehicle, etc.
- Wear clothing that is non-restrictive.
- Wear shoes that you know you could run in if you had to flee from someone.
- Do not list your address, phone number or other identifiable information on social networking sites.
- Never give out personal information online.
- Use passwords that are not words in the dictionary. Capitalize at least one letter, include one number and include one special character. Use several different passwords.
- Do not keep social media websites public.
- Be weary of posting photos that have identifiable features in the background, such as a work place, school, street sign, etc.
- Only use verified online dating websites to meet companions online.
- Trust your instincts.
- Be aware of your surroundings and make an effort to identify risky situations.
- Take steps to reduce the risk of becoming a victim by planning ahead.
- Avoid risky situations whenever possible.
- If confronted by an attacker…
- Run away if possible, rather than stay and fight.
- Yell! Instead of screaming.
- If you cannot run, then assume a defensive stance and verbalize loudly.
- Studies have shown that the more aggressive you are in your defense and the quicker the defense occurs, the better your likelihood of escape.
- Visualize yourself as a strong, self-empowered person.
- Remember: it is your choice to fight back or submit. Compliance is acceptable if your life is at stake. Don’t ever give up looking for a route of escape even if you’re initial instinct tells you to comply with your attacker.