Plan the safest route to your destination and use it. Choose well-lit, busy streets and avoid passing vacant lots, alleys, or construction sites. Take the long way if it's the safest.
Know your neighborhood. Find out what stores and restaurants are open late and where the police and fire stations are.
Make sure you know where your children are going when they go out and encourage them to play with other kids. Show them safe places in the neighborhood where they can go if they ever feel scared.
Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it. Carry a wallet in an inside coat or side trouser pocket, not in a rear trouser pocket.
Don't flaunt expensive jewelry or clothing.
Walk facing traffic so you can see approaching cars.
Don't overburden yourself with packages and groceries that make it hard to react.
Bring emergency change for cab fare, bus fare, or a telephone call.
Have your car or house key in hand as you approach your vehicle or home.
If you suspect you're being followed by someone on foot, cross the street and head for the nearest well-lit, populated area. Walk quickly or run to a house or store to call police. If you are really scared, scream for help.
If you are being followed by someone in a car, change direction immediately and make a visible point of writing down the license number.
For more tips, please contact:
The National Crime Prevention Council
The Woodward Building
733 15th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005