Reducing the Risk of Sexual Assault

While the ultimate responsibility for a sexual assault rests with the perpetrators of these crimes, there are efforts you can make to reduce your risk of becoming a sexual assault victim. Actions to take include:

Safety at Home

  • Light all entrances to your home. Leave lights on when you are out and have your keys ready when you return.
  • Keep all your doors and windows locked at all times, even in the residence halls. At home, install and use sturdy locks. If you lose your key(s), replace your lock immediately.
  • Keep your keys safe. Don’t loan them to anyone. Don’t leave your keys lying around in your room or home. If your keys are lost or stolen, report it to the police immediately.
  • If you are living alone, use only your initials on mail boxes and in telephone listings.
  • Vary your daily routine, if possible, so it is not predictable.
  • Don’t enter your home or room if it looks like it has been broken into.

Safety and Driving

  • Keep the car doors locked at all times, even when making short trips or short stops.
  • Avoid isolated or poorly lit parking spots.
  • Have your keys ready; they can be used as a weapon to jab at an attacker.
  • Check the back seat just before getting into your car.
  • If your car breaks down, lock the doors, stay inside, keep the windows up, and ask anyone who stops to call the police or a towing service. Never get into a stranger’s car.

Safety and Walking

  • Avoid walking alone. Walk with someone, or walk in areas near other people. The university’s Department of Public Safety provides an escort service on campus at any time.
  • Do not hitchhike! There is usually someone you know who can give you a ride.
  • Avoid shortcuts through parks, vacant lots, and other deserted places.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Look to see if someone is following you.


Page last updated 12:02 PM, March 18, 2019