How NOT to Become a Victim
Don’t put yourself in a situation or location that is known to be less than safe.
Wherever you are, always stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
Don’t look like a victim. Walk tall with your head up and project an air of confidence.
Trust your instincts. If something, or someone, makes you uncomfortable, avoid the person or leave. Listening to “your gut” can help you avoid becoming a victim.
Know the area you are in. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, and restaurants, or stores that are open late. Any public place where there are other people.
When You Are Walking
- Stay on well-traveled streets. Avoid taking a shortcut through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
- Don’t flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing.
- Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put your wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket, not a back pocket.
- Always have a personal alarm or personal protection device such as pepper spray,
stun gun or Taser handy, if they are legal in your state.
- Try to use automated teller machines in the daytime. Have your card in hand and don’t approach the machine if you’re uneasy about people nearby.
- Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
- If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lighted house, any place where there are people.
- Always know where you are going and the best way to get there
- Make sure you have enough gas to get where you’re going and back.
- Always roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you’re coming right back. Check inside and out before getting in.
- Avoid parking in isolated areas. Be especially alert in lots and underground parking garages. Always park in a well lighted, heavily traveled area.
- If you think you are being followed, don’t head home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, gas station, or other open business to get help.
- Don’t pick up hitchhikers. Don’t hitchhike. (Remember that one from when you were a kid?)
- Always take charge of your own personal protection by having pepper spray, a stun gun or Taser handy, if they are legal in your state.
- When you’re stopped at a light or stop sign, leave enough space to pull around the vehicle in front of you. An easy way to gauge this is to stop your car so that you can still see the rear tires of the car in front of you touching the pavement. If anyone approaches your vehicle in a threatening manner, you will have enough room to pull away.
- Beware of the “bump and rob.” It works like this: A car rear ends, or bumps you in traffic. You get out to check the damage and the driver or one of the passengers jumps into your car and drives off. Look around before you get out; make sure other cars or around. If you feel uneasy, stay in the car and insist on moving to a busy place or police station. Call the police right away.
Also While Driving – Road Rage
Many motorists become victims every day because of “road rage.” Many drivers get angry when someone cuts them off or tailgates them. A lot of drivers get angry at slow drivers. Violent incidents on the road recorded by police have increased more than 50 percent over the last five years. The following are some tips to avoid becoming involved in a “road rage” confrontation;
- Don’t let another motorist egg you on into getting into a confrontation on the highway. If someone is tailgating you, let them pass. Don’t take bad drivers personally.
- Avoid eye contact with an obviously aggressive driver.
- Don’t make obscene gestures. Use your horn sparingly, as a warning, not as an expression of anger.
- Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going. Being stressed because you are running late can make you an aggressive driver with a short temper.
- If you see someone driving aggressively, stay out of their way and contact the police. Consider carrying a cellular phone in your car to contact police in the event of an encounter with an aggressive driver.
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked
- Have a “peephole” installed in your door
- If someone knocks on your door and asks to use the phone, do not let them in. Tell them you will make the call if they give you the phone number
- If leaving the house for several hours leave the TV or radio on
- Install an intrusion (burglar) alarm
- Have several lights set on a timer for when you go out at night
- Have a personal protection device such as a Taser, stun gun or pepper spray handy
Most of this information is basic, everyday common sense. But, we need these reminders to make sure we DO NOT become a victim