Everyone can and should take precautions to prevent victimization. This includes increasing your knowledge of potentially dangerous situations, avoiding them when possible and be prepared to deal with them as they are recognized. Some suggestions for improving personal safety are:
- Make sure hallways, garages and grounds are lighted. Have key ready to open door.
- Leave a spare key with a friend rather than leaving it under the doormat or over the door.
- Lock windows and doors that are easily accessible. Pull shades or curtains after dark to not advertise that no one else is home.
- List only last name and initials on mailbox, door and phone book.
- Do not give out personal information or make appointments with strangers over the phone.
- Do not admit stranger to your home. If an unexpected person approaches your door, determine identification before opening the door.
At The Office
Most office environments are unique. Each department, depending upon working habits, public commitments and style of operation, will differ. A safety system can be developed which will complement the particular environment in which you work. University Police Department at extension 4357 (HELP) or 256.765.4357 can be contacted as a resource for information and assistance in the design of a personal protection program for your office.
In The Car
- Park in well-lighted areas.
- Walk back to car with key ready.
- Check back seat before getting in to make sure no one is hiding.
- Keep doors locked at all times.
- If the car breaks down, raise the hood, put on the emergency lights, and lock the doors. Wait for someone to stop and offer to call help; stay in your locked car and ask them to call the police or a tow service.
- Avoid hitchhiking and hitchhikers due to the obvious high risks involved.
If You Are The Victim Of A Sexual Assault
- Attempt to stay calm and remain alert. Look for situations which you can exploit to your advantage. Your primary objective should be to survive the assault, and if possible, avoid serious injury to yourself.
- If possible, try to get away as fast as you can. If necessary, fight back. If, however, you are immediately threatened, attempting to escape or fighting back initially may not be possible or advisable. In such a case, it may be necessary to go along or even cooperate until a safer opportunity for escape presents itself, but escape may not be possible until after the act. Remember, staying alive is your most important concern.
- Take notice of the characteristics of your assailant, his habits, surroundings, contacts, speech and mannerisms. This could enable you to deal with the assailant and perhaps talk your way out of a rape situation, or provide a means of escape. Also, this information is invaluable for the police in trying to apprehend the criminal.
- If you are on campus, notify the University Police Department at extension 4357 (HELP) or 256.765.4357 as soon as possible.
- Get medical attention immediately.
Education on rape prevention is available through various service organizations. Involvement in programs such as these, as well as in rape crisis centers and neighborhood watch programs, contributes to a larger group effort and represents a much stronger force in the prevention of a sexual assault. Community resources and public concern, combined with informed personal prevention efforts by men and women, will do much to reduce and control this crime.
To report a sexual assault contact the University Police Department immediately at extension 4357 (HELP).