Avoiding potentially dangerous situations by maintaining a complete sense of awareness and planning ahead for responses to such situations allow one to remain confident while traveling around campus, home or any other location. For any situation, it is important to consider preventing, planning and acting.
Avoid becoming an easy target
People unknowingly engage in activities every day that make them more vulnerable to crime. Make yourself less of a potential target by incorporating some simple actions.
- Travel on well lit, busy streets and avoid walking through alleys.
- Always trust your intuition and pay attention to warning signs, such as people watching you or quickly approaching.
- Maintain a complete awareness of your surroundings. Do not become distracted by using your cell phone or listening to your ipod while walking.
- Do not walk alone, especially at night.
- Only take what you absolutely need with you when going out. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or multiple credit cards. Use backpacks to conceal laptop computers.
- Remain confident, alert and in control. Avoid going out or walking home while intoxicated.
Utilize Student Safety Programs
Student Safety Programs offers walking escorts and mobile transports to campus and near off-campus locations during the evening hours. Safety Patrollers operate from 5 p.m. until midnight. LIMO vans operate nightly during the school year from 5 p.m. until 3 a.m., with extended hours from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights when school is in session. After-hours transports can be obtained from 3 a.m. until 7 a.m. To request a Safety Patrol escort or LIMO ride:
- Call 414-288-6363 from any campus or near off-campus location
- Make your request via a Blue Light Phone
- Flag down a van or team of Safety Patrollers
- Wait at any designated LIMO stop
Be cautious at ATMs
- Use machines in busy areas that are well lit. For your safety, ATMs are located in the Alumni Memorial Union and at the Public Safety office in the 16th Street Structure.
- Pay attention to those behind you and around you before making a transaction.
- Be private about your personal identification number.
- Never write your personal identification number on your card.
- Remove your card from the machine when your transaction is complete.
- Pressing 911 or any other series of numbers into the machine does NOT alert authorities to an emergency.
Knowing how to respond to a potentially dangerous situation is just as important as knowing how to avoid one. Often times, criminal catch victims off guard, allowing victims very little time to react. Thinking ahead about your response to such a situation and having a planned and practice response will allow you to remain calm and focused.
Carry a personal safety device
- Carry a safety whistle or other noise-making device and use it when you feel threatened. Noise attracts the attention of those nearby. Although yelling provides the most comprehensive method of attracting attention, people often lack the ability to verbalize in crisis situations. Anyone can blow a whistle.
- Pepper spray can be an effective personal protection device if used appropriately. Although the effects are not long lasting, they are devastating. For more information on pepper spray, contact Public Safety.
- Become familiar with the locations of Blue Light Phones.
- Blue Light Phones provide a direct link to Public Safety, 24 hours a day.
- There are more than 450 Blue Light and service phones on campus and within the off-campus neighborhood.
- The phones are distinguishable by their bright blue lights.
When in an uncomfortable situation, always trust your instincts. If necessary, defend yourself to the best of your ability. When presented with an avenue of escape, run away to a safe place, where people are present to assist you. Near campus, safe places include residence halls, restaurants, businesses and the Public Safety office, which is open 24 hours a day.
Using non-verbal self defense
- In an uncomfortable situation, be assertive.
- Maintain eye contact with those who may attempt to confront you and do not let yourself get distracted.
- Maintain a confident physical demeanor.
- Maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from strangers.
Using verbal self defense
- Do not be afraid to tell someone to get out of your personal space.
- If necessary, yell to attract the attention of those nearby.
- Use direct commands, such as “Get back!” or “Let me go!”
Protecting yourself during robberies
- If someone demands your property, give it to him or her. Do not resist. Maintaining your personal safety is more important than your backpack or cell phone.
- If someone claims to have a weapon, believe him or her and surrender your property.
- Throw your property in one direction and run away in the opposite direction, to a safe place.
- While running, attract attention by yelling.
- If your assailant targets you instead of your property, remain calm and breathe. Think of your planned response, defend yourself and escape!
Self Defense Program
Public Safety’s self-defense program uniquely combines a hands-on approach to learning effective techniques with information about the latest national and local crime trends. Designed for both female and male audiences, the class incorporates simple strategies for escaping potentially dangerous situations. Public Safety offers several free self-defense classes through out the academic year. Individual requests for larger groups can be made with advance notice. Contact Public Safety for complete information.