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International Student Services

Personal Safety Tips

Below are some general safety tips from the Security Department. If you would like to have any of these officers come to a student organization club meeting, they are available to do that.

Self-Protection for Women/Men

Contact the Wellness Department, Security, or SALSU for classes.

The Three Rules of Personal Safety

  1. STAY ALERT! Be aware of your surroundings. Look to see who's in front and behind you. If you're concerned about crime, ask a friend to accompany you.

  2. COMMUNICATE THE MESSAGE THAT YOU'RE CALM, CONFIDENT, AND KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING! Stand tall, walk with purpose, and make quick eye contact with people around you.

  3. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, simply leave. 

When at Home Alone

  1. Keep your doors locked at all times (day or night).
  2. Install a door viewer so you can see who's there without opening the door.
  3. Don't leave notes on your door or newspapers on your porch - they advertise that you're not home.
  4. Close the drapes or blinds at night.
  5. Don't automatically open the door - have the person identify himself.
  6. Ask for identification from any repairman. If you are not expecting anyone, or you're suspicious for any reason, call his firm to verify before letting him in.
  7. If a stranger asks for help, don't open the door - make the call for him.
  8. If asked whether your husband is home, reply, "Yes, but he's asleep, etc., etc."
  9. If you return home and you suspect forced entry, DON'T GO IN! - call the police to help you check the house.
  10. Do not give your name, phone number, address, or any other personal information to a telephone solicitor.
  11. Use your initials rather than your first name in the phone book and mailbox.
  12. Have your locks re keyed or changed when you move into a new residence so previous tenants won't have access to your home.

Obscene or Harassing Phone Calls

  1. Hang up immediately and quietly.
  2. For repeated calls, contact the police and the phone company. Your phone can be monitored or the call traced. Keep a log of the date, time, and what was said by the caller.
  3. If the calls continue, consider changing your phone number. 


When Walking Alone

  1. Walk only on busy, well-lighted streets, even if it makes the trip a little longer.
  2. Avoid short cuts such as parking lots, alleys, or parks.
  3. Don't accept rides with strangers or distant acquaintances.
  4. If someone in a vehicle asks for directions, keep back far enough where you can't be grabbed.
  5. If you feel you are being followed, cross the street or go the other way. Walk toward lights and people.
  6. If you are being followed by a vehicle, turn and run in the opposite direction. The driver will have to turn around before he can continue following you.
  7. When returning home, have your key out and ready to unlock the door. 


When Driving Alone

  1. Keep a cell phone handy in case your vehicle breaks down. Know who to call.
  2. Keep vehicle doors locked at all times.
  3. Lower windows only slightly, so no one can reach inside.
  4. Maintain a relatively full tank of gas.
  5. Choose a well-lighted, well-traveled route even if it's a little out of the way.
  6. Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  7. Don't stop to help strangers - get to a phone and call help for them.
  8. If someone follows you, don't go home. Drive to an open business and call the police - if possible, record the license plate number of the other vehicle. 

If Your Vehicle Breaks Down

  1. If you are safely off the roadway, raise the hood. Depending on the situation, it may be a good idea to get back into the vehicle and lock the doors. If you are standing outside your vehicle, you may be in danger from passing vehicles not seeing you.
  2. If someone stops to help, be cautious! You may ask them to call for help.
  3. It would be very helpful to keep an emergency number of someone you can call if your vehicle breaks down. (wrecker service, mechanic, roadside assistance, etc.) 

Parking Your Vehicle

  1. Park in a well-lighted area.
  2. If parking during the day and returning at night, check for street and building lights.
  3. Always lock the vehicle doors.
  4. When parking in a pay lot, leave only the ignition key in the car. Do not give anyone a chance to duplicate your house keys.
  5. Put valuables in the trunk.
  6. Be cautious when parking next to a van. 

Returning To a Parked Vehicle

  1. Have your key in your hand, ready to unlock your vehicle.
  2. Look around the area to see if someone is loitering around your car.
  3. Check the front and back seat areas of the car to see if someone is hiding.
  4. If possible, walk with someone to your vehicle.
  5. Be cautious of any van parked next to your car. 

If Attacked

Remain as calm as possible. This will not be easy if you're attacked, but it's your first step towards an escape. Remember, your own initiative and imagination is your best defense. <//span>

Two types of resistance can be used against an attacker: (1) Passive (2) Active

PASSIVE RESISTANCE involves using your imagination to delay the attack while continually looking for a chance to escape or attempting to talk the attacker out of assaulting you.

You Can:

  • Try to remain calm and show as little fear as possible.
  • Talk to the attacker if time permits. In some cases this will help calm both him and you down. Refrain from talking to the attacker if it aggravates him.
  • Treat the attacker as a person and try to gain his confidence. This may cause him to let his guard down and allow you to escape.
  • Continually look for an opportunity to escape.
  • Choose tactics that will leave you able to try other things if a particular approach doesn't work.
  • If your first attempt to dissuade the attacker fails, try something else - different approaches work on different people.

ACTIVE RESISTANCE involves using physical force to repel the attacker.

You Can:

  • Scream - if someone is near enough to hear you and provide help.
  • If you're grabbed from behind, throw your head back hard against the attacker's face or throat.
  • Crush down on top of his instep of this foot with your heel.
  • Press your thumbs very hard into his eyes.
  • Run towards people and lighted areas.

REMEMBER:
No method is foolproof. No single method is the best one in every situation. All situations are different. Every attacker is different. Passive resistance may not change the attacker's mind or offer a chance to escape. Active resistance may excite or cause him to use more force that he would have otherwise used.

Your Best Weapon is Your Own Brain

Use Your Common Sense, Imagination, and Good Judgment

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule a crime prevention program, please contact one of the following:

Doug Nophsker, Director of Security at (951) 785-2222 dnophske@lasierra.edu

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