The following suggestions are examples of strategies you can attempt to use to lessen your risk of being a victim of a crime. However, they are not prevention strategies because only the people committing the crime can stop violence from happening.
Remember: you are never to blame for a crime that was committed against you.
- Understand what resources are available in the event you feel unsafe or need assistance.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and who you are with. If you are going out- know your location.
- Be proactive: talk with your friends about your plans and intentions so that if something changes from the plan, they will know to check in with you.
- Trust your gut: if you feel as if you are in a bad situation, trust your instincts. Try to find a way to leave the situation. Consider calling or texting a trusted friend or make up an excuse to leave.
- If you are walking or staying late in a building at a time you feel vulnerable, let someone know where you are or ask someone to be with you. Do not hesitate to call the Rutgers University Police Department on your campus to let them know where you will be and what time you anticipate leaving or if you need an escort.
- Create a safety plan. If you are concerned for your ongoing safety, it can be worthwhile to create a safety plan. Safety planning is about finding ways to be safe in the present while planning for your future safety as well. An advocate from the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance can assist you in making a safety plan.
- Be careful about posting your location. Many social media sites, like Facebook use geolocation to publicly share your location. Consider disabling this function and reviewing other social media settings.
- Keep your personal items secure and lock your door and windows when you’re asleep and when you leave the room. If people constantly prop open the main door to the dorm or apartment, tell security or a trusted authority figure.
- When drinking, be aware of what you are drinking and how much you are consuming. Remember that perpetrators often use alcohol and other substances to incapacitate their victims.
- Be an active and engaged bystander. This means being a good friend and stranger. If you see someone that is in a risky situation, help them.