Situational Awareness for EMPOWERING Teens & Youth
1. Know Where You're Going- Know the route you will take before you leave
2. Know Where Your Stuff Is- Never leave your purse, backpack or shopping bags out of your sight. Carry your wallet in your front pocket or in a purse that you keep close to your body. Make a mental note of all of your essentials and be sure you've got them at all times.
3. Always Carry Your Phone- Never leave home without a cell phone. It's your lifeline if you get lost and it can connect you with the police in case of an emergency. If you don't have a phone, then be sure you're traveling with someone who does.
4. Don't Trust (Almost) Anyone- You don't have to be paranoid of every stranger you see, but be aware that there are dangers in every city.
5. Pick Your Streets Smart- If you have the choice between a busy street and a deserted one, always pick the busy one. Muggers are more likely to attack on dark, empty sidewalks than on ones with a crowd. Plus, if something does happen on a busy street, there are open stores to run into and people who can hear your shouts.
6. Travel in Groups- If possible, don't go anywhere (especially an unfamiliar place) without a friend or two. If you must go out alone, be sure to tell someone exactly where you're going.
7. Don't Let Your Music Drown You Out- There's nothing wrong with listening to your device as you walk, but keep it at a reasonable volume so you can still hear things around you. Tuning out puts you at risk for accidents, attacks and getting lost. This also goes for texting while walking. If you do it, keep your head up and pay attention to the people and things going on around you.
8. Ignore All the Jerks - If a stranger catcalls or shouts something at you, just keep on walking. There's no sense in turning a stupid comment into an a confrontation . If they continue to harass you, or follow you, either walk into a store and tell someone or call the police.
9. Don't Be a Phone Zombie - Phone zombies are so engaged in their conversations or their super-important texts that they don't watch where they're walking. Not only are they easy targets for crime, they also run the risk of crashing into other something.
10. When in Doubt, Run and Shout - If someone tries to attack you, your best option is to quickly run away while screaming your head off and look for open stores or crowds of people to run into. Your attacker is more likely to take off than to follow you.