Here are tips for helping keep safe from stranger attacks, based on information from police agencies and crime-prevention organizations:
Prevention: Don’t walk alone in dark, isolated or wooded areas. Pick a high-traffic, well-lit area.
Noise: If you run into trouble, making noise — whistling or screaming, for example — will attract attention.
Safety in numbers: Walk with a friend, two-legged or four-legged, whenever possible. Walking with a dog, even a little ankle-biter, will greatly reduce the chance of attack.
Confidence: When walking, stay alert and always be aware of your surroundings and the people nearby. Walk with confidence. Show that you are in control.
Fire!: If you must call for help, consider yelling "Fire" instead of "Help" or "Rape." Some people may be reluctant to get involved or may not take a call for help seriously. However, they usually will come to see a fire.
Fight back: People who fight back are injured less often, are more successful in stopping the attack, regardless of what kind of attack it is, and feel better about the attack afterwards. Consider carrying pepper spray, an alarm, keys, a heavy flashlight or even a walking stick.
Everett Police Department: www.ci.everett.wa.us/everett/police/c
Arming Women Against Rape and Endangerment (AWARE): www.aware.org
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