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Steps to prevent sexual assault

The following are tips provided by the National Crime Prevention Council to prevent incidents of sexual assault.

– Be aware of your surroundings — who’s out there and what’s going on.

– Walk with confidence. The more confident you look, the stronger you appear.

– Know your limits when it comes to using alcohol.

– Be assertive — don’t let anyone violate your space.

– Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings, leave.

– Don’t prop open self-locking doors.

– Lock your door and your windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes.

– Watch your keys. Don’t lend them. Don’t leave them. Don’t lose them. And don’t put your name and address on the key ring.

– Watch out for unwanted visitors. Know who’s on the other side of the door before you open it.

– Be wary of isolated spots, like underground garages, offices after business hours and apartment laundry rooms.

– Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.

– Have your key ready to use before you reach the door — home, car, or work.

– Park in well-lit areas and lock the car, even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes.

– Drive on well-traveled streets, with doors and windows locked.

– Never hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker.

– Keep your car in good shape with plenty of gas in the tank.

– In case of car trouble, call for help on your cellular phone. If you don’t have a phone, put the hood up, lock the doors, and put a banner in the rear mirror that says, “Help. Call police.”