1. Buddy-Up- One of the best ways to avoid being attacked by a stranger is to travel in numbers. The more the merrier. If you find yourself alone, call the University Police Department at 786-1120 and arrangements for a safety escort will be made.
2. Walk with confidence- Studies have shown that violent offenders will often select their victims based on their appearance as an easy prey. A person who walks with a slouch and appears to have a low self esteem is more likely to be attacked than a person who walks erect and with a bold, strong stride.
3. Make eye contact with others- Making eye contact with others, even briefly lets them know that you are aware of them and allows you a better chance of being able to identify a suspect later. Try this with a friend - walk toward your friend purposely avoiding eye contact for a bit. Then make eye contact. Both of you will feel a sudden sense of non-verbal communication pass between you the instant your eyes meet.
4. Change directions-If you believe that you are being followed a quick change of direction will confirm this or invite your would-be attacker to abandon the idea, especially if you are a pedestrian being followed or harassed by a motorist.
5. Walk or run toward populated or well lit areas
6. Know your limitations- The key here is survival. The decision to fight an attacker is a personal one. Sometimes it is safer to surrender your belongings or submit to being assaulted. Material things can be replaced; physical and emotional wounds will heal - but death is final.