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Are You Safe?

 After Dark  At Work  Feeling Unsafe?  On The Net
 At Home  Dating  On Campus  Travelling

After Dark

  • Plan a Safe Way Home.  Before heading out, stop and think, ''what is the safest way home?'' Arrange to go home with someone you trust or have that person walk you to your car, the nearest bus stop or subway station.  Often bus drivers will let you off between stops closer to your home. Don't broadcast that you might be walking home alone. You can never tell who might hear you and follow.

  • Know Where You Can Turn for Help.  Take mental notes of places you could go for help such as houses, hospitals, stores that stay open late.  Try to avoid deserted and not well lit areas.  Look confident when you are walking.  Consider purchasing a safety whistle for your key chain.

  • Carry a Cell Phone.  Many cell phone providers now offer monthly packages for a small fee.  Most cell phones and all pay phones allow you to call 911 for free.  Know the limitations of your cell phone, some phones do not work in certain areas.  Police cannot trace your location when you use a cell phone so be aware of where you are when calling for assistance.

  • Be Cautious When Hitchhiking.  Hitchhiking is an inexpensive but dangerous way to get around.  It leaves you in a very vulnerable position, with not too many options.  If you do hitchhike, think before taking a ride!  You don't have to take a ride with just anyone who stops.  Go with your feelings and trust your intuition.  If the situation doesn't look safe, say ''NO''.  There are some things to think about:  What is the license number of the car?  Are there door handles?  Are there any signs of drugs or alcohol?  Is there more than one man in the car?  Are you alone?

  • Stay Put if you Have Car Problems.  If your car breaks down along the side of a road, you do not need to hitchhike to the nearest exit or gas station.  It is safer to wait in the car with the doors locked and the hazard lights on and wait for help.  If someone other than an identifiable officer arrives, roll the window down a little bit and ask the person to call the police for you.  Many police stations provide signs that say ''Phone Police'' that can be placed in the car window.