Protecting Yourself

While Walking:

  • It is safer to walk or run in pairs.
  • Have your cell phone with you and charged. Be aware of your location in the event you need to call for help.
  • Avoid wearing headphones - they may prevent you from hearing someone approach you on foot or in a vehicle.
  • When walking or running alone, walk on well-lighted, well traveled walkways. Plan your route ahead of time. Avoid places where attackers might hide such as parked cars, overgrown shrubs, and dark passageways.
  • If someone follows you, look confident and let him or her know you are aware of their presence. Don't be polite or engage in conversation.
  • If they continue to follow you, cross the street and/or change directions.
  • If this doesn't work, walk toward other people or occupied buildings and stay away from places where you might get cornered.

While Driving:

  • If someone follows you and is persistent or becomes obscene, write down the license number and report it to the appropriate police or sheriff department as soon as possible.
  • Have your cell phone with you and charged. Be aware of your location in the event you need to call for help.
  • If you are trapped in your car, honk your horn in quick short bursts. This will attract people's attention.
  • Make sure that all of the car doors are locked whenever you leave your vehicle.
  • When returning to your car, have your keys ready so you can enter your car quickly and be aware of your surroundings. If you have to look into a purse or pocket to find them, it takes extra time and you lose sight of what is around you, which could allow someone to sneak up on you.
  • As you approach your car, look underneath to make sure no one is hiding there. Before you enter your car look to see if all of the doors are locked or if there are any uninvited passengers in the back seat or on the floor. If your door locks are not the way you left them or you see someone inside, leave the area as quickly as possible and notify the police.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.

Working Late:

  • Let someone know where you will be working and when you anticipate returning home. Make sure your family and friends know the work number where you can be reached.
  • Cell phones are very effective in emergency situations.
  • Carry a portable, battery-powered high decibel alarm device or loud whistle.
  • Carry a small pocket flashlight in your purse or on a key ring, and try to park in well lighted areas and walk along lit walkways.
  • Carry your keys and access cards in your hand when you are approaching the appropriate doors, keeping them readily available. Make sure doors close and lock behind you.
  • Keep your work station or office locked after hours.
  • When returning to your vehicle, watch for suspicious persons nearby and have your keys in your hand. Check the interior of your vehicle before getting in.