The best way to avoid being a victim is to stay alert, be constantly aware of your surroundings, listen to your instincts and act on your observations and suspicions. Please visit the Crime Victims help and resources if you have already been victimized.
Here are some personal protection tips from the National Crime Prevention Council:
- Don’t walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when the streets are deserted.
- When out at night, try to have a friend walk with you.
- Carry only the money you’ll need on a particular day.
- Don’t display your cash or any other inviting targets such as pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games or expensive jewelry and clothing.
- If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Yell for help.
- Try to park in well-lighted areas with good visibility and close to walkways, stores and people.
- Make sure you have your key out as you approach your door.
- Always lock your car, even if it’s in your own driveway; never leave your motor running.
- Do everything you can to keep a stranger from getting into your car or to keep a stranger from forcing you into their car.
- If a dating partner has abused you, do not meet him or her alone. Do not let him or her in your home or car when you are alone.
- If you are a battered spouse, call the police or sheriff immediately. Assault is a crime, whether committed by a stranger or your spouse or any other family member. If you believe that you and your children are in danger, call a crisis hotline or a health center (the police can also make a referral) and leave immediately.
- If someone tries to rob you, give up your property—not your life.
If you are robbed or assaulted report the crime. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.