Never walk alone at night.
There is safety in numbers. By walking with someone else at night, you significantly reduce your chances of being assaulted. If you don’t know of anyone to walk with you, contact a public safety officer on campus to escort you home.
Be aware of your surroundings.
By using your phone or iPod, you have lost one of your most importance senses—hearing. If you listen to music while you are out, put only one ear bud in. If you use an ATM, be sure it’s in a well-lit area. Never use an ATM at the back of a bank. Never stand there and count your money. Be aware of who is around you at all times.
Change up your route or routine every once in a while.
Changing your walking route, particularly at night, decreases the chances of you being followed. Be sure to always walk in well-lit areas where others can see you.
Give someone your schedule.
Consider swapping schedules with your roommate. It’s important that someone knows where you are at all times so that if you don’t show up at home, someone will know that you are missing.
Keep a List of Important Emergency Contacts.
Be sure to have the following phone numbers easily accessible in case of an emergency:
- Local Authorities
- Your Landlord
- Iowa Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
- Utilities such as your electric, gas, water, cable, internet, ...
Program these numbers in your cell phone and put them in a prominent place in your apartment, such as a message board or hanging on your refrigerator, so that you are able to quickly dial them.
Get into a routine of locking your doors and windows.
Lock the doors and windows of your room and/or apartment when you leave the premises and as soon as you return. Be sure to keep your keys in your hand so that you are able to lock your doors immediately after coming and going. This will prevent intruders from having easy access.
Learn some self-defense techniques.
Most colleges offer some type of self-defense course or seminar that students can take. It is important to learn how to defend yourself should you ever be put into a situation where you would need to. The Health Education and Services Center often offers self-defense classes. Contact the staff at the front desk for class dates and times.
Keep expensive belongings hidden.
When walking alone, keep expensive belongings, such as laptops, hidden. This will make you less of a target to thieves and attackers.