The following tips are designed to help bring attention to some common mistakes that can often lead to becoming a victim as well as identifying easy steps you can take to help keep yourself safe. Though these tips are directed to the ladies in our community, many of them are gender neutral.
- Get off your phone. Many think that talking to someone on the phone is a “life-line” since they can call 9-1-1 for you if something happens. Unfortunately, it seldom ever works that way. Talking on the phone can be a distraction for you and can actually cause you to be unaware of a potential hazard leading to you becoming a victim.
- Don’t put your phone away. No, this is not conflicting with what we just told you in tip number 1. Though we do not want you talking on the phone, it is a good idea to have your phone handy in case you need to make an emergency call.
- Check your car before you get in. As you approach your car, look at the undercarriage and make sure no one is hiding under or around your car. Look in the front and back seats before opening the door and getting into your car.
- Use the passenger side door. If you return to your vehicle to find a van parked next to your driver’s side door, either enter through the passenger side and lock your doors behind you, or return to the store and ask for an escort to your car. Predators sometimes use vans next to vehicles to aide in abductions in parking lots.
- If you notice you have a flat tire when you return to your car, immediately go back inside the business and call for assistance. Once assistance is on scene (AAA, tow truck, family or friend), then you can approach your car. Predators sometimes let the air out of tires so they can come in as the “helpful passerby” in order to abduct women in parking lots.
- Ask for an escort. Any time you are leaving a business or shopping center/mall, especially at night, and you feel uneasy for any reason, ask for an escort. When baggers at the grocery store ask if you “need help out”, say yes and allow them to assist you. Your safety is paramount.
- When at a party, always pour your own drink and make sure to carry it with you everywhere you go, including the bathroom. This makes it much harder for someone to put anything in your drink.
- If someone comes up and grabs you, rotate your arm while moving it up and down to break their hold while yelling “STOP!” and calling for “HELP!”. Do anything you can to bring attention to you and try to get away from the person as quickly as possible.
- If you use social media, do not “check-in” at places on social media applications or pages like Foursquare or Facebook. This tells people where you are and allows people to digitally stalk you. Additionally, it lets people know you are not at home and makes you a prime target for a burglary.
- When you take your car in for service, only provide the service department with your car keys, NOT your entire key ring. Duplicating keys is very quick and easy. While servicing your car, the technicians have access to your home address on either your invoice or your vehicle registration in the vehicle glove box, and may make a copy of your house key.