While on the street:
- Be aware of your surroundings – where you are, who’s around you, what’s available to use to protect yourself (an exit, object, etc). Present an alert, confident manner.
- If you are using headphones consider wear only one & turning the volume down. If you are using your cell phone, let the person you are talking to know where you are: This also tells those around you that someone knows your location. Because you will not be able to hear as well, be sure to keep your eyes alert and attentive.
- Be aware of how your clothes, bags, etc. may help you or may hinder you in the case of an attack. Make any changes that can help you stay safe.
- Try not to carry your keys, ID and wallet in one place like a purse: If your purse is stolen, the perpetrator will know where you live and will be able to get into your home.
- Keep important items (money, Metrocard, etc) in your front pockets.
- If you think someone is following you, don’t lead them to your home or a secluded place. Go to a place full of people with whom you feel safe or go into a store and let them know you are being followed.
When traveling on subway or bus:
- When on a crowded bus or train, always keep in contact with your possessions.
- Be aware of men pressing body parts (including hands) against you. Speak up: You can warn other women, gain allies and protect yourself by saying something. Remember that you have done nothing wrong.
- When on the subway, ride in the cars with the conductors.
- If possible, wait in the designated waiting areas for the subway.
When at home:
- Know which exits are in working order
- See if there is an object in each room that you can get to if you needed to defend or shield yourself from an attacker – someone known or a stranger.
- If you see that your door has been broken, don’t go in to your house. Go to a neighbor or a safe place and call the police. If the person is still in your home, you don’t want to be there as they leave
When going out with friends:
- Know where you are going and how to get home.
- If someone is driving, remind them to stay sober for the evening.
- Make an agreement with friends that no one goes off alone, especially with someone they don’t know.
When going out on a date:
- Tell someone the name of the person you will be with, where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- Have enough money with you so if you need to leave, you can get home safely.
If you are involved with an abusive partner:
- Know your partner’s warnings signs – if you can distract or stall him, or get away from him, do it.
- Keep a record of the abuse such as photos, diaries, police reports, etc. – It may be necessary to keep these things elsewhere like with a friend or family member you trust.
- Have a “safety plan” – Put money, important papers, clothes and important phone numbers somewhere your partner won’t find them. Make sure you can get to these things if you need to leave quickly.
- If your children can not come with you, send them to a safe place where your abusive partner can not find them
- Remember, no one has the right to hurt you
- Contact a local hotline for more help