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Brown Home Brown Home Brown Home Department of Public Safety

Maximize Your Personal Safety


Tips to Maximize your Personal Safety

Criminals focus on the "opportunity" to attack. Do not make yourself an easy target.
  • Trust your instincts. You know that feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when you think something is wrong? Pay attention to it, and act appropriately.
  • Be alert to your surroundings and other people. If you hear the same footsteps behind you, don't be afraid to take a quick glance over your shoulder, and change your direction of travel. Walk into a nearby business or building that is occupied by many people to divert a possible criminal. Criminals do not like to victimize individuals in witness-rich environments. If at all possible, avoid putting yourself in isolated areas.
  • Stay in populated, well-lit areas. Walk in well traveled areas.
  • You are safest if you see fighting as a last resort. Your safest choice is to use awareness and intuition to avoid possible trouble. Use your verbal skills to defuse a situation.
  • Display an aware, confident attitude. Attackers case out their victims. Walk with your head up, and stay alert.
  • If at all possible, do not walk alone at night. If you must walk alone, advise a friend of your estimated time of arrival/ return to and from location. Familiarize yourself with the locations of the safeRIDE shuttle stops. The service runs from 5p.m.-3a.m EST and 7p.m. 3 a.m. EDT., 7days a week during the academic year.
  • When on campus, familiarize yourself with the locations of our blue light Emergency phones. These phones are located on most University buildings, walkways, and all residential halls. Call us if you are feeling uneasy, or if you feel you are being followed.
  • Keep a secure grip on your purse or bag, and close to your body. Do not allow it to dangle. Keep fastners and zippers closed. However, if threatened by a demand for your purse, do not choose your purse over your personal safety and wellbeing. If you are a victim of a purse snatch, act quickly and contact the police with a description of the subject and direction of travel.
  • Have direct eye contact with strangers approaching you. This eye contact does not need to be prolonged, just long enough to send the message, "I see you and I can report your description." Eliminate the possible element of surprise.
  • Avoid walking through groups of people that appear rowdy or antagonistic.
  • Be aware of scams. Be cautious with strangers who ask for directions, or money. As innocent as these encounters may seem, these interactions may be an attempt to draw you near to be victimized. Never let your guard down. Remember to keep a good distance between yourself and the inquiring individual. Answer with brief, firm statements. Never allow yourself to be isolated by a stranger.
  • When in doubt, bring attention to yourself and a potential criminal, YELL. You may also yell "FIRE", or "HELP". If you feel a little embarassed afterwards, that is ok. You make the choice, embarassment or victimization? Criminals do not want to be made.
  • Do Not Resist a subject that threatens to use, or displays a firearm when attempting to rob you of your property. Comply, give up the belongings demanded, and go to a safe space at once and call DPS immediately.
  • Have your keys ready upon approaching your parked vehicle. When approaching your vehicle scan the rear seat, and even underneath your car. Lock your car doors as soon as you get inside.