The first step to protecting yourself and your family from any crime is not to be conquered by your fear. You don't need the $10,000 security system the telemarketer is peddling (although, if you need piece of mind you should look into security systems on your own terms. Call them and actively seek information). All you really need is to be aware of your surroundings and listen to your gut. The following tips were found by researching many reputable rape prevention resources.
Rape & Crime Prevention Tips
- If you don't already have one, get a peephole put into your door so you can see who is outside. Never open your door for anyone until you know who is on the other side.
- An attacker expects a passive victim, so if you walk slowly or in a daze, you will seem vulnerable to a potential rapist. Walk at a steady pace, appear confident and purposeful.
- All entrances and garages should be well-lit. You should always keep one light on inside the house at night and when in public, try to avoid dark and deserted areas. Stay where there is plenty of light.
- Do not walk alone or take short take short cuts where you would be in a deserted area. You should always try to be where there are plenty of people around.
- Walk near the curb and avoid passing close to shrubbery, dark doorways and other places of concealment.
- Do not hitchhike and never pick up hitchhikers.
- If a car approaches you and you feel threatened, scream and run in the direction opposite of the one the car is going. If you feel you are being followed, go to the nearest open business, police department, fire department or any area where other people will be. You can call the police from there. If you are in your car and a vehicle pulls in behind you and you do not know the individual blow your car horn to attract attention. Do not get out of your car until you know the situation is safe.
- If you carry a purse, hold it close to your body. Have your key ready to enter your residence or car.
- When approaching your car in a parking lot look around the area for anything that does not look right. If you see anything that looks suspicious near your car, keep going and call the police as soon as possible. If you can get in your car safely, lock the doors and go somewhere where you can contact the police about your suspicions.
- Do not be afraid to report an incident because your suspicions might be wrong. It's better to be over-suspicious than to be a victim. On the other hand, do not let your fear keep you from living a normal life. You shouldn't be afraid of every man you see walking down the street, however you should be aware of your surrounding at all times.
- Keep your property well manicured and maintained, especially entrance ways and exits to eliminate criminals from hiding in such spots. Be aware of possible hiding spots where ever you may travel to avoid surprise attacks. Put thorny bushes under bedroom windows and near entrances and exits to further deter possible criminals from hiding. Install high output lighting and automatic light sensors security devices around your property which come on when something walks in front of them.
- It's smart to keep a cell phone nearby just in case a criminal cuts or disconnects your phone line. It's also handy to have so you can call the police from your car or other area if you are being followed or escape from a threatening situation.