Incident Prevention / Safety Tips
On the Street
- Don't walk alone after dark.
- Be alert! Look around you; be aware of who is on the street and in the area. Make it difficult for anyone to take you by surprise. (Blaring stereos, wearing headphones, radios, etc., make you vulnerable to surprise.)
- Whenever possible, it's a good idea to "dress for safety." Unlike "dressing for success," this means wearing loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes that make walking and running easier.
- Stay on populated, well-lighted streets.
- If you think someone is following you, turn around and check; the surprise of a hostile look or aggressive word might change a potential attacker's mind. You can also head for people, lights, traffic, or run and scream. Yelling "fire" may get more results than yelling for "help."
- If a car follows you or stops, change directions; walk or run toward people, stores, or a house if necessary.
- On frequently traveled routes, note the location of emergency telephones or call boxes in public garages and parking lots before you ever need them.
- If you are near a public phone, call the emergency number 911 or your campus police number whenever you feel that you're in danger. View Emergency Phone Locations on campus >>
- Take self defense classes.
Outdoors After Dark on Campus
- Always follow well-lighted paths. Stay out of shadows.
- Walk with a group whenever possible.
- Tell a friend or roommate where you are going and when you expect to return.
- If you must walk through the campus alone at night, call the non-emergency number (831) 471-1121 and request an escort. More information about our Escort Service >>
- Avoid isolated places, both day and night. If you must work or study alone on weekends or holidays in offices, labs, or out-of-the-way places, lock the doors and tell a friend and the Campus Police where you are.
- Park your car in well-lighted areas and as close as possible to your destination.
The Friendly Stranger
- Many attacks start with casual conversation. The attacker is sizing up the situation to see how easily intimidation can be applied. If you are polite and friendly, the attacker may proceed to intimidate you.
- Although most people would recognize something strange about an encounter long before intimidation would begin, many ignore their intuition because they don't want to be unfriendly or suspicious.
- Trust your instincts! If your gut reaction to a person (stranger or acquaintance) makes you uneasy, get out of the situation as quickly as possible, even it if means being rude, making a scene, or feeling foolish.
In the Car
- Park in well-lighted areas at night. Consider paying for parking. If it is essential to your safety, park wherever necessary.
- Walk to your car with your key ready.
- Check beneath the car and in the back seat before you get in to make sure that no one is hiding there.
- While driving, keep the doors locked at all times so that a person can't jump in at a red light.
- Keep enough gas for emergencies.
- Note the location of telephones so you are familiar with their location before you need them. View a map of Phone Locations on Campus >>
- If you are followed by another car, drive to a police or fire station, hospital emergency entrance, or any open business or gas station. Do not go home or to a friend's house. If necessary, call attention to yourself. If your car breaks down far away from help, stay in your car with your doors locked and windows closed. Ask people who stop to call the local police, your automobile club, or a friend or family member. Do not ride with strangers.
- If your car breaks down on campus or you lock your keys inside your car, call the Campus Police for motorist assistance.
- If your car fails for any reason, wait in your car for police help. Emergency police signal banners and windshield sun shades are available which can be displayed in your rear window to alert other drivers to your need for assistance. These items can be purchased in almost any grocery, auto or drug store. Few potential attackers will approach you if they know that the police have been called. Stay in your car, lock your doors, and wait for safe help.
- Police officers and tow truck drivers carry identification. Do not unlock your car door or exit your vehicle until they show you their identification through the glass of your closed window.