Personal safety tips

Protect yourself against crimes of a sexual nature.

Sex-role stereotypes of passivity, projection of submission and coyness are dangerous and can create a climate for sexual aggression. "Say No!" When you mean no. Acquaintance rape can result from ineffective communication. Believe in your right to express your feelings and learn how to do so assertively. Beware of stereotypes that prevent you from self-expression, such as "anger is unfeminine," "being passive is feminine". Beware of specific situations where you do not feel relaxed and in charge. Society has conditioned men and women to send strong nonverbal messages about their sexuality. Often these unthinking and unintentional messages contradict their words and contribute to sexual assault. You need to be conscious of signals you send with your posture, clothes, tone of voice, gestures and eye contact. Become responsible for your unspoken un-communication.

What kind of resistance can and should a woman use against a rapist? There is no simple solution to escape rape. You should be aware that should you carry a weapon of any sort, you are taking the chance that it could be used against you. Some mace and pepper spray products are detrimental to you when downwind. It will have the same effect on you as it will on the perpetrator! - Think. Try not to panic. The rapist will expect you to panic, plead, and submit. "At all times," if you receive an opportunity to escape, use it.

If you are being attacked and abduction is attempted, "early escape attempts" may actually increase your odds of survival. If the incident occurs in the vicinity of other individuals, you can kick, bite, scream, and draw attention to your situation before you are dragged off into a vehicle or into a secluded area. Isolation, seclusion, and the longer amount of time you spend with an abductor the more survival odds may decrease. If someone's going to harm you force them to do it in an area early on where you may attract witnesses or help. Most women escape a rapist by talking their way out of it - few escape by fighting. Some women have prevented rape by telling the abductor they have AIDS.

What to do if you have been sexually assaulted:

  • Go to a safe place if needed.
  • If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Report the assault to the police at 911 or Public Safety 8590.
  • Do not shower, bathe, or douche. Do not change clothes or disturb anything in the area where the assault took place. Preserve the physical evidence.
  • Call a friend or family member to be with you.

Other helpful resources

Your Resident Assistant or Sophomore Adviser
Director of Residence Life

extension 8230 or 8439 ORĀ 812-236-0157 OR 812-236-0157

Residence Life Assistants extension 6406, 6209 or 6611
Office of Student Affairs extension 8210 or 8257
Student Health Services extension 8167 or 8367
Student Counseling Services extension 8537

Be aware while walking.

Walk with others after dark. Avoid alleys, short cuts, and vacant lots. Vary your route by not establishing a travel pattern when walking. Notice cars that pull up beside you or pass you more than once. Listen for footsteps or voices while walking. If you are being followed, stay in a lighted area and seek safety in a public building.

Be aware while driving your car.

Have your keys in your hand as you approach the car. Your keys make an excellent weapon for stabbing the face and eyes of your attacker. Keep windows up and doors locked at all times. Check the back seat and floor before entering. Park in well-lit crowded areas. At night don't go to your car alone if you can avoid it. If you suspect your car is being followed, drive into a busy, well lit business establishment and call for police. Always make sure you have enough gas.

Be aware at home.

Have your keys in your hand when you leave your car to go into your home. If something or someone appears strange, drive on by, and call home or go to a neighbor or friends. Have good lighting on around entrances for your return. When you enter, close and lock the door immediately. Be sensible with your keys. Don't leave them outside or in hiding places. Never loan you keys to anyone. Keep doors and windows locked at all times with dead bolt locks, even when you are home; many rapes occur in the woman's own home. Know your neighbors and know which ones you can trust in an emergency. Know who is at the door before opening it. Demand identifications from anyone you don't know, especially sales and repair persons. If a stranger requests to use your telephone to call for help, offer to place the call for yourself rather than inviting him/her into your home.

Crime prevention tips

This section will be updated periodically to cover different topics. Currently we offer the following tips on the prevention of book theft.

Student and non-student victimization in contrast to book theft from libraries can be pretty much routine on a college campus. Students aren't the only victims of book theft on campus. Faculty victims can also be excellent sources for healthy returns in stolen book sales. Textbook theft is a crime of opportunity and we can make it very easy for the perpetrator to commit the crime of book theft. We have to discipline ourselves by being personally accountable and personally responsible in placing security precautions on all of our personal property including our books.

Unfortunately, once we are victimized in a crime of book theft it is very difficult to reclaim or ensure that our books will be returned unless we've taken precautions to enable that to happen. Stolen books are at times very easy to sell to a used book buyer. At times a used book buyer may be approved by a campus bookstore to operate on a college campus, and many book buyers make the effort to operate legitimately. Others are permitted to set up at convenient locations near a campus to make book purchases. Book buyers can also operate as street vendors while making transactions out of tents or vehicles at adjacent off campus locations. A success factor for the book thief is that book-buying guidelines are at times terribly lacking in control and virtually without effort to protect or assist victims of book theft.

Follow these guidelines to help ensure that your books remain safe:

  • Never leave books unattended.
  • A used textbook is a used textbook. You're not going to hurt its value by identifying it with your name and an identification number. Do not use your social security number; consider the month, day, and year of your birth. Mark the book after you decide to keep it. Place the number on the same page number of all of your books.
  • Inventory them by title, author and edition.
  • Include the cost, and place of purchase of the book.
  • Report book theft to Public Safety immediately.
  • Never leave book bags unattended and mark them inside and outside.
  • Remove items from unattended vehicle passenger compartments.

Campus Alert System

Do not worry about tuning into radio stations, turning on the television, or visiting local web sites anymore. Campus Alerting can do the footwork for you. Click the button to register for this free alert system. All you need is an email address, a pager, or a cellphone.