How to Protect Yourself
At Home or Work
Know who you are letting into your home. Can you trust the person? The same issue of trust applies when considering going into someone else's home, or when working alone with anyone. If you sense something doesn't feel quite right, ask a friend to accompany you or stop by to check on you. Trust your instincts!
- Get to know your neighbors so you have someone to go to or call if you're scared.
- Never give the impression that you are home alone.
- Never let a stranger into your home.
- Check the identification of any sales or service persons before letting them in.
- If you live alone, use your last name and first initial only on mail boxes and in phone directories.
- If you live in an apartment, avoid being alone in the laundry room or parking lot, especially at night.
- Make sure your home has adequate security. Keep all windows secured and doors locked. Keep entrances well-lit.
- If you come home alone and find an open door or window, or any signs of forced entry, do not enter your home. Go to the nearest phone and call the police.
- Do not walk alone, especially at night. There is safety in numbers. Avoid unfamiliar areas and areas where there are few people.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
- Stay in well-lit areas.
- Walk confidently and with purpose, at a steady pace, on the side of the street facing traffic.
- Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys.
- Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom of movement.
- If you feel you are being followed, go to the nearest business or residence.
- If someone bothers you, don't be embarrassed to attract attention. Scream, yell, or whistle. If they are in a car, run in the opposite direction that the car is going. Record the license plate number if you can (even a partial number will help), and remember the color and type of vehicle. Then call the police.
- When going out with someone new, don't feel you have to go alone. Go on a group date or meet in a public place.
- Avoid falling for lines such as, "If you loved me...". If your partner loved you, they would respect your feelings and not force you to do something you don't want to do.
- Provide your own transportation so that if you feel uncomfortable in a situation you can leave immediately.
- Trust your instincts.
- Don't put yourself in a situation where other people might have to take care of you.
- Be careful when inviting someone into your home, or going into someone else's home. These are the places that most acquaintance rapes occur.
- Communicate with your date. Be firm and clear with your date about your interests and limitations.
- If things start to get out of hand, protest loudly and leave. Don't wait for someone else to help.
- Tell a trusted friend or family member about your planned date or meeting, and let them know a rough timeline of your plans for the evening. It's important someone else knows who you are with and where you are going.
Learn the options for defending yourself in the event you are attacked.