All students, faculty, and staff members are encouraged to remain alert and security conscious. Notify College Police of any crime or suspicious activity by calling (619)482-6380.
Prevention of Sexual Assault
(source: Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, www.rainn.org)
- Rape is a violent crime - a hostile attack-an attempt to hurt and humiliate. It is NOT the result of "uncontrolled passions."
- Rape can happen to anyone. Students, working women, wives, mothers, children, grandmothers, and even males are the victims of rape.
- Rape can occur anywhere and at any time, in public or in your own home, day or night.
- Rapists are not necessarily strangers. In fact, in over one-third of reported cases, the rapist is an acquaintance, neighbor, friend or relative of the victim.
- Rape is one of the most underreported crimes. Many rapists continue their crimes until caught. Report any kind of sexual assault.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
- Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
- Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
- Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more vulnerable.
- Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that you have cab money.
- Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.
- Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
- When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other 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.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut. If you see something suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U .S.).
- Don’t leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a phone call. If you’ve left your drink alone, just get a new one.
- Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust. If you choose to accept a drink, go
with the person to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself. At parties, don’t drink from the punch bowls or other large, common open containers.
- 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 him or her to a safe place immediately .
- If you suspect your or a friend has been drugged, contact local law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.). Be explicit with doctors so they can give you the correct tests (you will need a urine test and possibly others).
- If you need to get out of an uncomfortable or scary situation here are some things that you can try:
- 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.
- 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.
- Have a code word with your friends or 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.
- 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 that you need to be, etc.
- 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?
- 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.
Precautions to Take at Home
- If you live alone, list only your last name and initials on your mailbox or in the phone directory.
- Install effective locks on all doors and windows.
- If you just moved into a new residence, change all locks. You never know who might have a key.
- Install a through-the-door peephole so you can see anyone outside your door before you open it.
- Don’t rely on chain locks. They are great privacy locks, but they are not security locks. Install good security locks.
- Never dress in front of windows; always draw your shades.
- Never let anyone — repairmen, police officers, etc. — into your home without proper identification. Ask for identification.
- Never let strangers use your phone, no matter what they say. If necessary, call the police for them.
- Always leave outside lights on after dark.
- It is better to wait for an empty elevator than to get on one with a strange person.
- If you receive wrong number calls, don’t give out your name or phone number.
- If you receive obscene phone calls, quietly hang up and call the police.
- In an apartment building, try never to be alone in the laundry room.
If you suspect someone is in your house, don’t go in or call out. Call your local police from your neighbor’s house.
Precautions to Take at the College
- Lock your office whenever you leave, even if you will only be gone for a minute.
- Keep your purse, wallet and other valuables in a secure location, such as a locked desk or filing cabinet.
- Immediately report to the College Police any suspicious person loitering in your area.
- Report all crimes, no matter how minor they may seem, to the College Police.
- If you receive an annoying or obscene phone call, hang up. Write down the time of the call, what the caller said, and note any background noises you may have heard. Call the College Police.
- If you work at night, avoid working alone.
- Keep all outside doors locked.
- Walk with other employees to and from your car.
- Escort services are available from the College Police by calling (619)482-6380
- If you are entrusted with a key to a specific area, never loan it to anyone. Keys are easily lost, stolen or duplicated.
- Try not to go out at night alone. Walk with a friend.
- Don’t walk on deserted streets or in alleys.
- Don’t go into strange or poorly lit areas.
- Use caution in parking lots.
- Don’t take shortcuts.
- Don’t hitchhike or accept rides with strangers.
- Walk facing on-coming traffic.
- Walk near the curb.
- Don’t walk near dark doorways or shrubbery.
- Carry your purse securely in your grasp.
- Look around when getting off a bus.
- Cross the street if someone suspicious is following you.
- Call the police if you feel that someone is following you or acting suspiciously.
- Walk into an open business if you become suspicious of someone while walking.
- When you are arriving home by private auto or taxi, ask the driver to wait until you are inside.
- Have your keys in your hand so you can open your door immediately.
- Be suspicious. Looking behind you may discourage an attacker.
Precautions to Take while Driving
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
- Never allow another vehicle to follow you home. If you feel you are being followed, drive past your house to the nearest open business and call the police.
- Never leave your keys in the car.
- Always check in the back seat of your car before getting in.
- If you stop to aid others, don’t get out of your car. Ask what you can do to help, then drive to the nearest phone and call the police.
- Never leave your purse in sight. Hide it under your seat or in your glove box.
- Always park in well-lit areas, never in the dark.
- Always lock your car.
- Always lock your doors while driving.
- Always keep your car in gear while stopped at traffic signals or stop signs.
- If threatened, simply drive away. Always write down license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles.
- When arriving home, always leave your headlights on until you have opened the garage door or unlocked the front door.
What to do if you are Attacked
- Use common sense; avoid panic.
- Use your natural defenses and act fast.
- Yell loudly.
- Identify your attacker(s) vulnerable locations. Strike legs, feet, groin. Scratch the eyes and face.
- Avoid confronting force with force. Disengage and run when possible. Your goal is to escape.
- Run towards people and open businesses.
- Notify the police as soon as possible.
How to be an Active Bystander and Witness
Bystanders play a critical role in the prevention of sexual and relationship violence. They are individuals who observe violence or witness the conditions that perpetuate violence. They are not directly involved but have the choice to intervene, speak up or otherwise dissuade further violence without causing additional harm or encouraging further violence.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger, dial 6691 on campus or 911. This could be when a person is yelling at or being physically abusive towards another and it is not safe for you to intervene. Situations where violence is occurring or there is a threat of violence is considered an emergency.
Active Bystander Tips
- Watch out for your friends and fellow students/ employees. If you see someone who looks like they could be in trouble or need help, ask if they are ok.
- Confront people who seclude, hit on, try to make out with or have sex with people who are incapacitated or unable to consent.
- Speak up when someone discusses plans to take sexual advantage of another person.
- Believe someone who discloses sexual assault, abusive behavior, or experience with stalking.
- Report crimes and threats of violence immediately to College Police. Identify what is occurring, the exact location, how many persons are involved, if any weapons are present, any injuries and their extent, and descriptions of assailants and their vehicles.