- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, go with your gut. Don't worry about what others think; safety comes first.
- Use your cell phone. Make sure it's charged before you leave home and coordinate with a friend if you need to text him or her for a "friend-assist." Also, make a plan in case your phone dies, so you can meet up with your friends at a familiar location at a certain time.
- Think about your info on Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare. Broadcasting your whereabouts reveals details to everyone. Keep it vague so that someone can’t track your every move.
- Wait for people to earn your trust. High school or college can foster a false sense of security. Don't assume people you don't know well will look out for your best interests.
- Don't be afraid to hurt someone's feelings. If you find yourself in an unsafe situation, it's OK to lie. Make up an excuse as to why you have to go. It's better to make up a reason to leave than to stay in a possibly dangerous situation.
- If you see something, say something! Intervene if you see a situation that seems risky to someone's safety. By stepping up you can possibly prevent a crime. Also, don't be afraid to call school security.
- Stick with your friends. Arrive at events together, check in with one another throughout, and leave together. Think twice about going off alone and if, for whatever reason, you have to separate from your friends, let them know where you are going and who you are with.
- Be responsible and know your limits. If you've decided to drink, don't accept from people who you don't know or trust. Don't leave a drink unattended. If you have left your drink alone, get a new one. Always watch your drink being prepared. At parties, stick to drinks you got or prepared yourself instead of common open containers like punch bowls.
- Watch out for your friends. If a friend seems out of it or is way too intoxicated, get him or her to a safe place.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Whether you're walking home from the library or at a party, be mindful of potential risks. Get to know your campus or neighborhood and learn a well-lit walking or driving routes. Think of a safe exit strategy. Are there people around who might be able to help you? Is there an emergency phone nearby?
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, call RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline at
1-800.656.HOPE or visit andonline.rainn.org.
Created with the help and approval of RAINN