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Safety Tips

While knowing risk reduction tips may assist in mitigating some known risks, it cannot prevent an attacker from committing acts of violence. Recognizing that the perpetrator of violence or abuse is the sole party responsible for their abuse and behavior and that victims are never to blame, the following are some strategies to reduce one's risk:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you find a way to escape a bad situation.
  2. Secure and lock all windows, doors, and entrances to your vehicles, dorm rooms, apartments, and offices at all times.
  3. Avoid allowing strangers into dorm residences with your access card.
  4. Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more challenging to get help if no one is around.
  5. Walk with purpose. Even if you don't know where you are going, act as if you do.
  6. Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn't the best place to be. If you see something suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.).
  7. Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags, as this can make you appear more vulnerable.
  8. Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that you have cab money.
  9. Don't allow yourself to be isolated from someone you don't trust or don't know.
  10. Avoid putting headphones/earbuds in both ears so you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
  11. When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in throughout the evening, and leave together. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad situation.
  12. Watch out for your friends and vice versa. If a friend seems out of it, is way too intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they've had, or is acting out of character, get them to a safe place immediately.
  13. Don't leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a phone call. If you've left your drink alone, get a new one.
  14. Don't accept drinks from people you don't know or trust. If you accept a drink, go with the person to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself. Don't drink from punch bowls or other large, standard open containers at parties. 
  15. If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, contact law enforcement immediately (on campus, call 911 or Public Safety, off-campus, call 911). Be explicit with doctors so they can give you the correct tests (you will need a urine test and possibly others).
  16. If you need to get out of an uncomfortable or scary situation, here are some things you can try:
    1. Remember that being in this situation is not your fault. You did not do anything wrong; it is the person who is making you uncomfortable that is to blame.
    2. Be true to yourself. Don't feel obligated to do anything you don't want to do. "I don't want to" is always a good enough reason. Do what feels right to you and what you are comfortable with.
    3. Have a code word with your friends and family so that if you don't feel comfortable, you can call them and communicate your discomfort without the person you are with knowing. Your friends or family can then come to get you or make up an excuse for you to leave.
    4. Lie. If you don't want to hurt the person's feelings, it is better to lie and make up a reason to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable, scared, or worse. Some excuses you could use are needing to take care of a friend or family member, not feeling well, having somewhere else you need to be, etc. 
  17. Try to think of an escape route. How would you try to get out of the room? Where are the doors? Windows? Are there people around who might be able to help you? Is there an emergency phone nearby?
  18. If you and/or the other person have been drinking, you can say that you would rather wait until you both have your full judgment before doing anything you may regret later.

  1. Make sure you have consent before you engage in any sexual activity. Consent is a clear and freely given yes, not the absence of a no. Consent should never be assumed or inferred and can be withdrawn at any time.
  2. Consent for sexual activity must be free of force, threat, intimidation, or coercion. Neither silence nor a prior relationship is sufficient to indicate consent.
  3. A person who is intoxicated, drugged, asleep, or unconscious cannot consent to engage in sexual activity. Any sexual act done to them while in this state is a crime.
  4. Do not assume you know what the other person wants - ask.
  5. If a person seems uncomfortable during sexual activity, is non-participatory, or states that they want to be doing something else, stop.
  6. Consent can be withdrawn at any point. A person has the right to change their mind at any time during a sex act, even if they have engaged in it before.
  7. Do not feel obligated to do anything you do not want to. “I don’t want to” is always a good enough reason.
  8. Always trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy or sense something is wrong, do what you can to escape that situation safely.
  9. If you suspect someone is in immediate physical danger or distress, contact the local police immediately.
  10. If you overhear someone trying to coerce another person into sexual activity, such as through the use of threats to expose videos, photos, or embarrassing information, call the local police immediately.
  11. If you believe a person is setting someone up for a sexual assault, help the victim get away, get others in the area to help, or call the local police. You can make a difference.

  1. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. Explain why you are in fear, even if the action seems harmless, such as leaving you a gift.
  2. Trust your instincts. Victims of stalking may feel pressured to downplay the stalker’s behavior, but stalking poses a real threat of harm.
  3. Don't downplay the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are.
  4. Take threats seriously. Danger is generally higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
  5. Get connected with a local victim advocate, a domestic violence program, or a rape crisis program to talk through your options and discuss safety planning. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1–800–799–SAFE to learn more about safety planning.
  6. Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else. Tell people how they can help you.
  7. Don't communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.
  8. Keep evidence of the stalking by keeping a record or log of each contact with the stalker. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date, and place. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw. Be sure to supplement any police reports.
  9. Stalkers often use technology to contact their victims. Save all emails, text messages, photos, and postings on social networking sites as evidence of the stalking behavior.
  10. Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.

  1. Avoid confrontations whenever possible.
  2. If you are faced with a situation that could get violent, walk away or call Public Safety.
  3. Try to resolve contentious situations civilly. If faced with a problem that could become confrontational, involve a third party as a possible mediator.
  4. Avoid excessive drinking, or if you have been drinking, recognize its impact on your judgment. Alcohol is a contributing factor in many assaults. (Is this one ok or not?)
  5. If you see an assault in progress, call Public Safety or the local police immediately. Do not jump into the fray unless it is a last resort to prevent more severe injury.

  1. If you witness someone attempting to start or actually starting a fire, pull the nearest fire alarm, evacuate to a safe place, and report the incident to Public Safety or dial 911.
  2. Concentrate on remembering a physical description of the person.

  1. It is a crime to enter someone's residence or office without permission, regardless of whether the door is locked or not.
  2. Avoid leaving notes on your door indicating that you are out for the night or out of town for the weekend.
  3. Keep a written record of all personal valuables, including descriptions and serial numbers. It is evidence that the property is yours.
  4. Immediately report any malfunctioning doors or windows to the appropriate maintenance personnel.
  5. If you arrive home or to your office to find an unexplained open or broken window or door, please do not enter, touch anything, or confront someone in the room or the building. Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons and write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles. Immediately contact Public Safety or the local police.
  6. If you observe someone acting suspiciously near campus buildings or attempting to enter residences or offices, please contact Public Safety immediately.
  7. Do not post your whereabouts on social media.
  8. Do not advertise valuables you own to friends or acquaintances.
  9. If you leave your residence or workspace and will not return, ensure someone locks your door.

  1. If a person with a weapon confronts you and wants your property, give it up. Your life and safety are more valuable than replaceable possessions.
  2. Do not make sudden movements or try to apprehend or fight with the criminal. Do what the robber says, and do not try to negotiate. If the suspect claims to have a gun, knife, or another weapon in their pocket, believe them. Concentrate on remembering a physical description and contact Public Safety or the local police immediately.
  3. Avoid displaying and carrying large sums of money.
  4. Carry items such as purses close to your body
  5. Keep wallets concealed when practical.

  1. Always secure your vehicle, even if you are parking for “just a minute.”
  2. Remove the keys from the ignition, lock all the doors, and close windows completely when parking the vehicle.
  3. Park in a well-lit area when possible.
  4. Never leave the engine running and the vehicle unlocked while running into a residence, a convenience store, or anywhere else.
  5. Do not keep the title to your vehicle inside the vehicle.
  6. Keep a written record of all personal valuables, including descriptions and serial numbers. It is evidence that the property is yours.
  7. If someone threatens you with a gun or other weapon, give up your vehicle. Do not argue. Your life is worth more than a vehicle. Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons and write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles. Immediately contact Public Safety or the local police.
  8. Always be aware of your surroundings when approaching your vehicle.

  1. Don't Drink and Drive; when in doubt, have someone sober drive or call a ride.
  2. Wear your seatbelt.
  3. Watch your speed and surroundings.
  4. Avoid distractions like mobile devices.
  5. Maintain and inspect your vehicle regularly.
  6. Adjust to the weather and be careful.
  7. Be courteous to other drivers and share the road.
  8. Maintain distance and drive defensively.
  9. Obey traffic signals and laws.
  10. If an accident occurs, check for injuries, call 911, find a safe place to wait for help, exchange information, and document the accident to report to your insurance. 

PUBLIC SAFETY              pubsafe@isu.edu              (208) 282-2515              625 E Humbolt St Pocatello, ID, 83209              @isupublicsafety     @isupublicsafety     @ISUPublicSafety     @isupublicsafety71