You are your best defense against victimization. Most crimes are committed as a result of opportunity. Your awareness of your surroundings and preparedness can be the difference between being, or not being, a victim. Many options are available to the individual when confronted and each individual must rely on their own judgment regarding how they will deal with that situation. For example, you might:
- Whistle/scream/make loud noise
- Physically resist or fight with the attacker
- Call 911 should time allow and you have a phone
Being prepared for the worst is the best defense. Your safety is the utmosrt importance and your actions/preparedness can be the difference. To that end we would like to offer you some personal tips that might assist you in brining you safely through a potentially dangerous situation.
In Your Car
- Especially in unfamiliar areas, whether or not you are alone, you should drive with the windows shut and the doors locked.
- Do not leave valuables (purses, laptops, etc.) out in plain view even when driving your vehicle. Doing this may be seen as an opportunity. Remember that certain SUV’s and trucks may sit higher allowing it’s occupants to see clearly what is lying on your seats.
- Park in well lit, highly traveled areas.
- Always lock your car when you walk away from it.
- When approaching your car, have your keys firmly in the palm of your hand. Make a fist with the hand holding the keys, with a key tip protruding between two fingers.
- Always look inside the car before you unlock it and get in.
- If you believe you are being followed drive directly to the police department or get the attention of a patrol officer you might observe in the area. DO NOT drive home or pull over to the side of the road.
- Have your doors locked at all times
- Do not allow access to anyone you do not know
- If someone asks to use your phone, request the name and phone number they want to call and offer to make the call for them
- Never tell an unknown caller that you are home alone
- Do not converse with “prank callers” or “wrong number callers”. If the calls persist, press *57 on your phone immediately after hanging up and notify police so a report can be taken and followed up. *57 generates a trace to the source of the nuisance calls. A police report is needed to get that information released to the police. A fee is associated with this service through your service provider
- Never give personal information such as full name, date of birth, social security numbers, etc to unknown callers
- Plan and use the safest and most direct route
- Travel in a group when possible
- If walking to a friend’s or acquaintance, call them when you are leaving and let them know when to expect you
- Stay alert to what is around you and look confident
- Carry your keys in your hand as if you were walking to your car
- If walking at night, be aware of businesses that are open late along your path of travel
- Do not walk in unlit areas
- Keep money in a secure place on your person
- If at any time you feel uneasy, go to a place where you know people will be
- Do not open or close by yourself
- Be sure of who is on the other side of the door before you leave
- Check the area for unknown people or vehicles before leaving after closing
- If you wish a police escort to a bank deposit location at any time, contact the Oregon Police Dispatcher at 419-698-7064. Tell the dispatcher your name, business location, and the bank you wish to be escorted to. An available officer will be dispatched to follow you to the bank.
Always mentally and physically prepare to defend yourself. Always have a plan. Remember there is no right or wrong way to react to a hostile encounter. No two situations are exactly the same. The best response depends on the threat, location, the presence of weapons and your physical capabilities. Remember that your safety is paramount. If surrendering personal items will insure your well being remember, any item can be replaced. If the method you are using to deal with the situation is not working, be prepared to try something else.
Self defense tools are advertised and readily available. In the right hands they can be an excellent deterrent. Carrying these items without knowledge of how they affect a person, (i.e. personal experience) may be more of an aide to a would-be attacker than to a person attempting to use it. Always remember that whatever incapacitating effect these tools may have on another; they will have on you as well. Do not carry anything that you have not been trained to use, and that you are not prepared to use.