Sexual Assault Prevention

50% of all sexual assaults occur in the victim’s own home…


  • Install deadbolt locks. Chain locks will not stop a person who is determined to enter your home.
  • Keep doors and windows locked.
  • Have a wide-angle peephole.
  • Use a “Charlie bar” in sliding glass doors
  • Trim trees and shrubs that can conceal or shadow doors and windows.
  • Keep landscaping open and short enough to offer no hiding places.
  • Make sure you have adequate outdoor lighting.
  • Do not leave lawn equipment, tools, or ladders outside. Lock them in your garage or storage shed when not in use.
  • If you are a woman who lives alone, list only your first and middle initial in phone books and on your mailbox.
  • Make sure your answering machine does not indicate you are a woman who lives alone.
  • Never tell anyone at the door, on the phone, or on the internet that you are home alone.
  • If you live in an apartment building, beware of empty o dark laundry and storage rooms and stairwells.
  • Never attach an ID tag to your keychain.
  • Ask for identification of all service repair personnel.
  • Make sure all entrances, parking area, hallways, stairways, laundry rooms and other common areas are well lit.
  • Check to make sure fire stairs have an emergency exit at ground level and that they are not accessible from the outside.
  • Ask your building supervisor about safeguarding pass keys to your apartment.
  • Stay near the emergency button while riding on an elevator.
  • If you suspect someone is in your home when you return, get out quickly and quietly and find a telephone to call your local law enforcement.

Safety at ATMs

  • Choose an ATM that is in a protected area, visible from the street, and has working video cameras.
  • Never use an ATM at night.
  • If you have any suspicions of someone nearby, leave immediately.

Walking/Jogging Safety

  • Look assertive, confident, and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep your keys accessible.
  • Wear comfortable clothes for added safety and defense.
  • Confront someone you think is following you. The greatest advantage is the element of surprise which will deter most assailants.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially at night.
  • Stay in well-lighted areas away from alleys, bushes, and entryways.
  • If a driver stops to ask you a question, stand at least two and half arm lengths away from the vehicle, facing the opposite direction that the car is traveling.
  • If you are harassed or followed by someone in a car, turn, and walk the other way. To follow you, the car will have to turn around. Memorize the license plate number and report it to the law enforcement department
  • If you are followed by someone on foot or in a car, cross the street, change directions, and go to a lighted home or public area to call the law enforcement department. DO NOT GO HOME.
  • Trust your intuition or your sixth sense.

Vehicle Safety

  • Keep your tank full of gas. Refill when the gas gauge shows less than half a tank.
  • Have the keys ready to open your car when you walk toward it. Lock the doors every time you enter or exit the car.
  • Park in area that will be well-lighted when you return. Park as close as possible to your destination and walk to your car with others. Check the back seat of your car before entering.
  • Never leave windows open even slightly. They can allow someone to get into your car.
  • If you must leave your car with a parking attendant, leave only your ignition key. Leaving your house key only gives someone time to make a copy.
  • Never hide a spare set of keys on your car.
  • Avoid items or people lying in the road or flagging for help. Drive to the nearest phone and call the law enforcement department to help them.
  • Never pick up hitchhikes, regardless of sex, and never ever hitchhike yourself.
  • If you break down, stay in your car and put a sign in your window to call local law enforcement for help. Carry a cellphone for emergencies.

8% of sexual assaults occur in commercial buildings…


  • Never let anyone inside after hours. Make sure cleaning people identify themselves.
  • If someone needs to use the phone, place the call for them.
  • Lock outer office doors before and after business hours.
  • Arrange for an escort to and from your car when possible.