General Safety Tips

On Campus

  • Be especially aware of your surroundings at times when you may be less alert and more vulnerable to an attack, e.g. when you are upset, sick, tired, or when you have been drinking.
  • Use discretion and caution when taking shortcuts through isolated parts of campus.
  • If you must be in an isolated area, e.g., working or studying alone in labs or offices, lock the doors and tell a friend or campus police where you are and when you plan to return.
  • Know the location of emergency phones on routes to and from class
  • Keep personal belongings in view while in class, the library, or lab.
  • Wherever you are, on or off campus, if you see or hear someone who might be in trouble, your options include running, yelling, confronting, and calling the police.
  • Use the CSO Safety Escort Program (824-SAFE)
  • Always have a cell phone

In Residence Halls

  • Remember that residence halls are public places. Contact residential staff regarding your security/safety concerns.
  • Keep doors locked even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
  • Ask people you don't know to wait outside.
  • Notify your R.A. or other residential staff of suspicious individuals who appear to be "hanging around."
  • In a residence hall, screaming can sound like horseplay. In an emergency, be specific by shouting "Help," "Police," or "Fire."
  • If you feel uncomfortable with a friend's or date's behavior, you can: confront the person, and say "Stop, I don't like that"; be assertive, tell the person to leave; leave.

In an Apartment or at Home

  • Install and use locks on your doors and windows
  • Have your locks changed, re-keyed or add a new lock when you move into a new place
  • Keep doors locked day or night whether you are home or not.
  • Know who is at the door before opening it.
  • If someone comes to your door and asks to use your phone to call for help, offer to make the call instead.
  • If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or garage area by yourself.
  • Close your blinds or shades at night.
  • Know your neighbors and know which ones you can trust in an emergency.

Information adapted from UC San Diego Student Safety Awareness and Sexual Assault Resource Center

Minimizing Risk

Tips for reducing the risk of sexual violence

  • Know your boundaries and express them assertively and clearly.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation.
  • Know your limits when using alcohol and other drugs
  • Prior to going out at night, determine your plan for your return home. let someone know where you're going when you leave.
  • Go out in groups and do not leave a group member alone at a party or bar.
  • Never leave your drink unattended or drink from an open container or punch bowl.
  • Try not to walk alone at night. If you must walk alone, walk in well-lit areas.


  • Communicate your sexual desires and limits clearly. If you feel uncomfortable about a behavior, someone is crossing your boundaries. Verbal cues are the most direct way to let someone know your limits.
  • Be assertive and direct. Forget about being nice if you feel threatened. You have the right to protect yourself.
  • Say what you are thinking, what you really want.
  • Be an active partner in relationships and share decisions about what to do, where to meet and when to be intimate.
  • Never take silence as consent. If you feel you are getting double messages, speak up and ask for clarification.
  • Accept a person's decision. Respect the word "no."


  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or think you may be at risk, leave the situation immediately and go to a safe place.
  • Exercise caution when dating. Have first dates in public places. Let someone know where you are going and when you will return. Try to provide your own transportation.
  • Avoid anyone who puts you down, talks negatively about women in general, is physically violent or does not respect you or your decisions.
  • Do not assume that a person wants to have sex just because they are drinking heavily, dressed in a particular manner, or agrees to go home with you. Do not assume that if a person agrees to kissing or other sexual intimacies, that they are also willing to have sexual intercourse.
  • Know your limits when using alcohol or other drugs.

Some things to think about

  • Do not assume you know what your partner wants
  • If you have doubts about what your partner wants, STOP and ASK!
  • Sexually interacting with a person who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent (drunk, stoned, etc.) is sexual assault.
  • Speaking out against sexual violence shows your support.

From New York University's Student Health Center website

Sextortion Alert

There have been recent cases of webcam blackmail occurring to students on campus and in other places and we want our community to be informed, safe and know what to do if this happens to you.

How does webcam blackmail work?

First contact is made through dating websites or social media accounts and a person with an attractive profile will add you and initiate contact. These accounts will use fake pictures and other social media accounts to look as real as possible. The scammer will retrieve more personal information like phone number, list of Facebook friends, company name, through continued conversation. This conversation will then turn “naughty” and move towards communicating on the webcam. The scammer uses a pre-recorded video, which tricks the victim into believing this person is real. They engage in a more “adult” webcam game and throughout this, the scammer will be recording the victim’s actions. It is after this video of the victim is recorded that the scammer reveals themselves and begins the blackmail. In this age of rampant social media, is easy for these scammers to find a lot of personal information. On social networks like Facebook, a public profile or misconfigured privacy settings allows the scammer to have easy access to photos, friends list, family members, colleagues, and the name of your employer. Once the scammer is in possession of a private video which involves nudity, masturbation, etc and has access to personal information, they will request the payment of money in exchange for not spreading the video to your contacts or online. Fear is the scammer’s best ally in these situations.

What to do if this happens to you?

1)      Do not give into the blackmail: cut off all contact with the scammers. Terrorizing you is the scammer’s best weapon to get you to pay the amount requested.

2)      Do not pay the amount request as this could encourage them to continue to threaten and harass you for more money.

3)      If possible, delete your accounts and change your phone number. If you cannot delete, do not respond to any messages.

4)      To avoid the video being sent to your Facebook friends, make sure that your account is secure and adjust the privacy settings so that no one can see your friends. You can also contact your Facebook friends and let them know that a hacker will try to make contact with them and to not click on anything they send.

5)      Make sure you only accept friend requests from people you know and trust and make sure that there is no personal information about yourself on the Internet.

6)      Remember that you can always come to the CARE office and speak with an advocate for support.

7)      Contact the police department.

Important Phone Numbers