Virtually all activities in life entail some level of risk, and we all have
different attitudes toward risk. At one end of the scale is refusing to engage
in an activity by exaggerating the level of risk involved. At the other end is
engaging in very risky activities while refusing to take any precautions.
Neither of these attitudes are useful for living an empowered life. What is
useful to accurately assess the risks, take those precautions that make sense,
and live as fully as possible. The following precautions should be adopted
within a cultural/gender context. They will not guarantee safety, but they will
minimize criminal opportunities.
On the street:
hitchhike! It's not worth the risk.
very careful using outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings
walking, walk in the middle of the sidewalk and walk facing oncoming traffic.
not to overload yourself with packages or other items.
your hands as free as possible.
not wear music headphones while walking or jogging.
not read while walking to standing on a sidewalk.
you wear a purse with a shoulder strap, be prepared to let it go if it is
snatched. Otherwise you could be knocked down and hurt.
good suggestion for men is to carry a second wallet containing a few dollar
bills and old expired credit card, which are normally destroyed or discarded. If
confronted at knife or gun point, give the suspect the second wallet and
concentrate on a good physical description to help police in making the arrest.
being on the street alone if you are upset or under the influence of drugs or
you carry a purse, carry it close to your body, preferably in front carry no
more money or credit cards than you absolutely need.
your car in good working order and the gas tank at least half full.
you approach your parked vehicle, visually check the area around the vehicle for
any suspicious persons or activity.
you observe anything suspicious walk to where there are people and call the
park in visible, well-lighted areas.
you drive a car attempt to avoid parking next to a larger pickup or van. They
can be easy to hide behind.
reduce the time to enter you car, have your keys ready.
operating your vehicle, keep doors locked and windows up.
valuables in the trunk or out of sight.
extra caution in underground parking or parking garages, and try not to go
stopped at lights or in traffic, allow space between you and the vehicle in
front of you so you can make an exit if needed.
someone approaches your vehicle and tries to enter blow your horn to attract
cell phone is a good investment in safety.
NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS
lights at all entrances
a wide angle door viewer on all exterior doors
good locks on all doors and windows -- and use them!
use your full name on your mailbox, in the telephone directory, or on your
not leave a schedule of your times away from home on your answering machine.
which of your neighbors you can trust and depend on in an emergency.
who is at the door before opening it, and do not open the door to an unexpected
hide extra keys in easily accessible places. Criminals will find them.
for photo identification of all repair persons. If you are suspicious call to
give personal information to telephone solicitors.
creating a "safe-room" with a separate telephone line, or cellular phone and
strong locks. If someone breaks in, you can retreat there and call for help.
not let strangers in to you home or apartment to use the telephone. Offer to
make the call for them.
security bars for added security on sliding exterior doors.